ATHLETES OF THE MONTH
Who Are The Top Track Kids Each Month?
A couple years back I started "Athletes of the Week" for USATF AZ, but trying to get a quick turnaround between meets, not getting enough feedback from parents and coaches in a reasonable amount of time and just having only so much bandwidth in my own life, I shut it down...
But now that we have this blog, which is slowly picking up steam, I think we can revitalize this idea with these parameters:
We will go away from "Athletes of the Week" and move to "Athletes of the Month" (AOTM)
Nominees for Athletes of the month will be presented via a blog post 5 days after the last meet of that month (ex., March 31 - last meet - April 5th blog post).
Only people who have signed up for our USATF AZ Blog will be eligible to vote on athletes.
Voting will be open from the 10th to the 15th of the following month (March Athlete voting will be open from April 10 to April 15)
AOTM will be notified no later than the 20th of the following month (ex., April 20th for March Athletes).
Only USATF meets in Arizona, the USATF Region 10 Championship and the two USATF National Championships (JO and Outdoor) meets will be used for nomination purposes.
Recipients of Athletes of the Month will be shown in a blog post before the end of the following month (So, no later than April 30 for March AOTM) with images of the athletes accompanying his/her accomplishments (as long as coaches/parents/athletes get them to us by the given deadline - TBD).
We would like to make this honor something the athletes can truly be proud of and for that reason we will keep nominations to a maximum of 8 athletes per month with the top-3 voted youngsters being our AOTM.
Try to look at all the nominees objectively based off performances and/or improvements over the course of that month and not simply because the child is in your family or on your club team.
Criteria we will look at for nomination purposes will be: National, region or state records set; top-ranked times/marks (state, region, national); the athlete's place in events at meets; personal records and improvements made by the athlete.
While we don't want to make this an "everyone gets a trophy" sort of honor, we may at times nominate athletes who are not at the "top of the podium" normally but are showing great improvements personally. (ex., 9-10 girl jumps 2.1 meters in the long jump in early March (places 17th), next meet jumps 2.7 meters (places 10th) and in her third meet jumps 3.1 meters, makes finals for the first time and places 6th - this would be a great candidate for AOTM - great improvement even though she's not the overall winner).
Please do not email us if you feel your child/athlete has been overlooked in the nomination process. We will be doing this for March, April, May, June and July - so there are several opportunities for him/her to get nominated. As we all know, there are many great young athletes who do track and field in Arizona and this is just another way to recognize them. We want to make this a positive experience and not one that fosters resentment or the feeling that "the system is rigged" - if it comes to that point, frankly, we'll just stop this AOTM altogether.
If you have already signed up for our blog, then you will be emailed a voting link after March meets have concluded. If you know others, who will want to vote for AOTM, but haven't subscribed to our blog, send them here to register.
Thank you - and keep spreading the word about USATF AZ BLOG!