COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The U.S. Olympic Committee announced USA Track & Field's Jenn Stuczynski as the Female of the Month for May.
The third woman ever to clear the 16-foot barrier in the pole vault and a two-time USA Outdoor champion, Stuczynski (Churchville, N.Y.), became the No. 2 performer all-time in that event Sunday, May 18 at the 2008 adidas Track Classic at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The 2008 World Indoor silver medalist, cleared 4.90 meters/16 feet .75 inch in bettering her own American record of 4.88m/16 feet set on June 2, 2007 in New York City. Only Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia has soared higher in the history of the event. For her efforts, Stuczynski was named The Team USA Athlete of the Meet, presented by Visa. Later that week, she was also named
Receiving second place in the women's voting was Melanie Roach (Bonney Lake, Wash.), who realized a delayed dream and qualified for her first U.S. Olympic Team when she won the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Weightlifting, May 16-17 in Atlanta, Ga. Roach totaled 190kg for a 87.96% weight lifted to body weight ratio to secure the first women's Olympic slot. She posted a top snatch of 81kg and a best clean and jerk of 109kg to total the 190kg. Roach was on target to make the U.S. Olympic Team for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, but suffered a back injury in 1999 that forced an early retirement. Roach then married, started a business and had three children before returning to the sport in 2005.
Lisa Wang (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) won her third straight U.S. all-around title in rhythmic gymnastics, as well as all four gold medals in the individual events (clubs, hoop, ribbon and rope), at the 2008 Visa Championships, May 22-24 in Houston, Texas, which gave her enough points to finish third in the voting. The Visa Championships was her last competition because she has decided to retire from competitive gymnastics to attend Yale University. Wang retires with 13 career U.S. senior rhythmic gymnastics titles: the all-around, clubs, hoop, ribbon and rope in 2008; the all-around, hoop and clubs in 2007; the all-around, ball and ribbon in 2006; and ball and clubs in 2005. She also won five U.S. titles as a junior: hoop and clubs in 2002; and the all-around, ball and ribbon in 2001.
Second-place in the team vote went to the beach volleyball duo of Elaine Youngs (El Toro, Calif.) and Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) who came out of the loser's bracket to win the FIVB open tournament on May 28-31 in Barcelona. Branagh was voted the tournament's most outstanding player. She had seven of the top eight fastest serves at the event (topping out at 51 mph) as the duo won five straight matches after a defeat on the first day of the competition. Youngs made history by becoming the oldest player, at 38 years, three months and 16 days, to win an event. The team moved up two spots in the race for Olympic qualifying points, solidifying their chances of earning a spot in the 24-team tournament in Beijing.
1. Jenn Stuczynski, Track and Field - Pole Vault
2. Melanie Roach, Weightlifting
3. Lisa Wang, Rhythmic Gymnastics
1. USA Men's Senior National Water Polo Team
2. Elaine Youngs and Nicole Branagh, Beach Volleyball
3. Bob and Mike Bryan, Tennis
– but the sailors praise the new boats
Photo Credit: Dario Belingheri/Bettini Photo
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