January 24, 2008
USOEC announces fall 2007 Athletes of the Semester
MARQUETTE— The United States Olympic Education Center has announced the athletes of the semester for fall 2007.
“Our coaches are the key to our success,” said USOEC director Jeff Kleinschmidt. “Quality athletes want to train with quality coaches and that’s what we’ve got here. Everyone has produced impressive results and it’s really a testament to the drive and character of the people we have here at the USOEC.”
USA Wrestling chose Northern Michigan University post-baccalaureate student Harry Lester for an unprecedented six-time athlete of the semester for the Greco-Roman wrestling team. Lester competed in USA Wrestling’s World Team Trials, earning a gold medal at 66 kilograms and qualifying for the World Team Championships. At the World Championships, Lester won an individual bronze medal and was part of a history making Team USA, which won the World Team Greco-Roman title for the first time. Lester also graduated in May 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in history.
“It’s incredible to be chosen again,” said Lester. “It shows that I’m still performing well and continuing to get better. It’s always nice to be recognized for working hard and performing well.”
USA Boxing chose NMU freshman Bruno Escalante (Waimanalo, Hawaii) for the first time. Escalante was ranked as one of the top eight boxers in the country at 112 pounds, which qualified him to compete at USA Boxing’s Olympic Trials in Houston, Texas, in August. He won a bronze medal after four tough bouts.
Escalante plans to use this experience as a stepping stone as he prepares for the 2012 Games in London. He was also named to the USOEC’s all-academic team for the fall 2007 semester.
Kyle Uyehara was U.S. Speedskating’s selection for the award. He’s in his second year as a resident at the USOEC and is receiving the award for the first time. Uyehara finished second at the U.S. Junior Championships held in Bay City, Mich., last November, earning himself a position on U.S. Speedskating’s Junior World Team. The Junior World Championships were held Jan. 11-13, where he finished eighth overall. Uyehara also posted personal best times in all distances at the Conematic International Short Track Challenge in Alberta, Canada. He is a senior at Marquette Senior High School.
Justin Brimhall has earned USA Weightlifting’s Athlete of the Semester. Brimhall is in his second year of residency at the USOEC, and this is first time earning this award. He finished fourth overall in the 77 kg weight class at the World University Championships held in Lima, Peru. Brimhall also earned a bronze medal at the American Open Championships held in Birmingham, Ala. He also set a person record in the snatch, lifting 130 kg or 286 pounds.
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