U.S. Para Four Earns Team USA Best of September Honors

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Standout performances during September earned the U.S. PR3 mixed coxed four Best of September honors for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, the United States Olympic Committee announced today.

The U.S. crew continued its podium streak on the last day of September at the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida. With four out of five team members returning from its silver-medal-winning performance at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, the team was a boat to watch — and it did not disappoint, finishing second behind Great Britain to earn the team’s fourth straight silver at a world championships or Paralympic Games competition. The team was led by coxswain Jenny Sichel and included fellow Paralympians Jaclyn Smith, Zachary Burns and Danielle Hansen, along with newcomer Mike Varro.

“Our PR3 Mix 4+ is honored to receive Team USA’s Best of September Award! We are so excited and proud to represent the USA on the world stage with our silver medals,” exclaimed Jenny Sichel, coxswain of the PR3 Mix 4+. “It is great to see our hard work and dedication pay off. Thank you to Community Rowing, Inc. and USRowing athletes and staff who have been supportive of our team every year.  Our boat is looking forward to the future and working hard towards success in Tokyo 2020!”

Boxer Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio) and tennis player Sloane Stephens (Plantation, Florida) were selected in the male and female categories, respectively.

Duke Ragan became the first American boxer to advance to a world championship gold-medal bout in the men’s bantamweight division since 1999, taking silver at the AIBA World Boxing Championships on Sept. 2 in Hamburg, Germany. The second-place finish marked the first U.S. silver medal at the world championships since 2009 and was the third U.S. medal of the event. Making his international boxing debut this season, the 19-year-old advanced through the tournament by defeating boxers from China, Cuba, India and Scotland.

In her first appearance in a major final, Sloane Stephens won her first career Grand Slam singles title by capturing the US Open on Sept. 10 in New York. Stephens recorded only six unforced errors and upset six seeds – including a 6-3, 6-0 win over 2016 Olympic teammate Madison Keys in the first All-American final since 2002 – to claim the title and improve from No. 83 to No. 17 in the world rankings. With the win, she became the first American woman not named Williams to win a Grand Slam title since Jennifer Capriati won the Australian Open in 2002.

In addition to Dow, the presenting sponsor, the Team USA Awards are supported by DICK’S Sporting Goods and USG.

About the Team USA Awards

Each National Governing Body may nominate one female, one male and one team per discipline. An internal nominating committee selects five nominees from both the male and female categories, and three from the team category to advance to the voting round. Votes received from NGB representatives and select members of the media account for 50 percent of the final tally, with the other half determined by online fan voting via TeamUSA.org/Awards.

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