In partnership with Gatorade, 18 individuals and seven teams each received financial support ranging from $2,500 to $6,000 to help provide financial fuel to future Olympic and World Champions…and beyond. Who are they and how will they use their grant to become the best? Read on:
Jennifer Poist, Wheelchair Basketball, Tucson, AZ
A grant awarded to Jennifer Poist will be used, in part, to purchase a new basketball wheelchair for use in game competitions. Poist is a member of the University of Arizona and USA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Teams. After winning the National Championship in 2012, Poist and the University of Arizona team nearly repeated that feat in 2013 but fell short of victory by a single point. This coming season she hopes to capture her second National Championship and on the international stage, she aspires win a World Championship. Her Olympic team finished in fourth place in London but her aspirations for 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio will be nothing short of a gold medal.
Scout Bassett, Paralympic Track and Field, Aliso Viejo, CA
As a competitive Paralympic track sprinter Scout Bassett finished second at the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Track and Field Trials in the 200m and third in the 100m. She is now focusing on qualifying for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships in France and hopes to compete at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio in the 100m and 200m events. The grant will help cover Bassett’s expenses related to coaching, travel to competitions, and year-round training through her 2014 season.
Chelsea Werner, Special Olympics Gymnastics, Danville, CA
Chelsea Werner’s plans for the grant include the defense of her National Special Olympics Gymnastic title in Atlanta, Ga. in May 2014. She will also participate in the Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey in June 2014 and will defend her World Title at the Down Syndrome International on September 2014 in Portugal. She continues her personal quest to show the world that she is first and foremost an athlete.
Stesha Carle, Rowing, Long Beach, CA
The grant will help Stesha Carle compete in international rowing events including Word Cups and World Championships. Among numerous personal accolades she finished second at the 2012 Women’s Quad World Championships, second at the Olympic Qualification Regatta in Slovenia, and finished first in the 2012 Women’s Double Sculls, Olympic Trials. Whether rowing with a just one teammate or as a team of four she hopes to compete in the rowing events at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Maggie Gallagher, Trampolining, Trabuco Canyon, CA
The grant will be used to help Maggie Gallagher pursue a qualifying spot on the U.S. National Team. At the age of 12 she was a member of the 2010 Women’s Jr. Elite U.S. National Trampoline Team and has since remained a member for the past three years. In total she has already medaled 20 times in National and International competitions. She is the National Trampoline Champion of 2012. As a top Jr. Elite team member she represented the U.S. at the World Trampoline Championships in Bulgaria in November 2013. She seeks to represent the U.S. at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in China. Her ultimate goal is to compete as a member of the U.S. Olympic Team in 2016.
Katherine Ryan, Skiing, Aspen, CO
A participant in U.S. Women’s Alpine downhill skiing Katherine Ryan has finished ranked No. 1 in the overall Nor-Am Downhill standings and she will be a part of the World Cup Downhill races this season. She finished the season as the top ranked junior in the U.S. and the fifth ranked junior in the world. The sport of Alpine skiing remains very expensive and this fund will greatly aid Ryan in her quest to compete at the elite World Cup level.
Melissa Erickson, Cycling, Colorado Springs, CO
Melissa Erickson plans to use the grant to train in order to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in track cycling. She was selected to represent the U.S. at the Pan American Track Championships and was named to the U.S. National Track Sprint Team. Currently ranked second in the U.S., Erickson will continue to train and improve at the world level; she will continue to race in international and domestic events with her eyes firmly set on racing at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Dream Team, Paralympic Cycling, Colorado Springs, CO
The Dream Team consists of Shawn Cheshire and Jennifer Triplett. Cheshire completely lost her vision in June 2012 due to a traumatic brain injury and after the Wounded Warrior project introduced her to the sport of cycling, she and Triplett, who has over ten years of racing experience, combined their talents to form this racing team. In their first race in Greenville Para-Cycling Open they finished in second Place just behind the world’s top ranked racing team. Then they finished fourth at the 2013 Para-Cycling Open Time Trial and third at the 2013 Para-Cycling Open Road Race. In pursuit of more international and World Championship races together the grant seeks to carry their aspirations into the 2016 Paralympic Games.
USA Volleyball Women’s National Sitting Volleyball Team, Sitting Volleyball, Colorado Springs, CO
USA Volleyball’s Women’s National Sitting Volleyball Team is a recognized discipline of the Paralympic Games and is recognized as a dominant force in international competition. The team, created in 2003, has medaled in every Paralympic Games in which it has participated including silver at the 2012 Paralympic Games. The team has garnered acclaim such as USA Volleyball’s Paralympic Team of the Year for the past three years. Individually, players like Katie Holloway the 2012 Female Athlete of the Year for Sitting Volleyball and Kari Miller, Best Libero and Best Receiver at the 2012 Paralympic Games continue that tradition of excellence. The grant will ensure their continued success at the World Championships in 2014 and assist with their ultimate goal – capturing gold at the 2016 Paralympic Games.
Micki Reeves Jarrahian, Canoe, Denver, CO
Micki Reeves Jarrahian intends to use the grant from the Women’s Sports Foundation to compete at World Cup races and World Championship events in canoe slalom. She is a member of the U.S. national team in whitewater slalom canoeing. In 2012, she won second place in the U.S. Slalom Olympic Team Trials and the International Canoe Federation (ICF) ranked her the top U.S. woman in her discipline.
Team Haeger/Provancha, Sailing, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Annie Haeger (skipper) and Briana Provancha (crew) make up the duo that is Team Haeger/Provancha. The team is currently on the U.S. Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider in the 470 Dinhgy. The team won the Women’s Collegiate National Championship in 2012 and claimed first place at the 2013 International 470 Spring Cup, Cap d’Agde in France and finished 5th overall. Next, they finished fifth at the 2013 International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup Miami and third at the 2013 470 North Americans. The grant will help with travel expenses around Europe on the ISAF and World Cup circuits in 2014. Currently ranked 4th in the world, this Women’s 470 Team has their sights set on the 2016 Olympic Games.
Elana Meyers, Bobsled, Douglasville, GA
The grant will help with Elana Meyers’ train as she pursues gold at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games as the driver of the U.S. Women’s 4 member Bobsled Team. She is a member of the Athletes’ Advisory Council and the Board of Directors for USA Bobsled/Skeleton. She prides herself in having the fastest starts and in being the fastest pushing driver in the world. She won bronze at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. She also won silver at the 2013 World Championships.
Gwendolyn Berry, Track & Field, Carbondale, IL
This grant will help Gwendolyn Berry with travel expenses in order for her to compete overseas and achieve Olympic status. Currently, she is focused on hammer throw – she earned NCAA All-American honors while at Southern Illinois University and was a USA National Team member in 2010. A relative newcomer to the sport, she is one of five women to ever surpass 70 meters in collegiate hammer history. During 2012, she became one of four to throw more than 71 meters. She has been a U.S. Trials Finalist these past two years and has her sights firmly set on competing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Anne-Elizabeth Stone, Fencing, Chicago, IL
Ann-Elizabeth Stone is a fencer from Chicago. Her plans for the grant include expenses for competitive training and to travel to the World Cups with the mission of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Stone won the individual NCAA Championships and made the 2013 Senior National World Team. She was named NCAA First Team All-American and First Team All-Ivy, for the past three years. Because of the high cost of traveling to Europe and Asia for international tournaments these funds will greatly assist in her training and travel.
Epic Racing Team, Sailing, Wilmette, IL
Epic Racing finished third at the 2013 St. Quay Grade One Women’s match racing regatta, the inaugural Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIMRS) event. The crew consists of Stephanie Roble, Maggie Shea, Janel Zarkowsky, and Meg Six. The skipper, Stephanie Roble, is currently ranked fourth in the U.S. Epic Racing has first place finishes at the 2012 U.S Women’s Match Racing Championship in San Francisco, Calif. and the U.S. Match Racing Championship in Marblehead, Mass. Epic Racing won bronze l at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. The team intends to use the funds towards international travel for participating in more competitions.
USA Synchro National Team, Synchronized Swimming, Indianapolis, IN
The USA Synchro National Team earned a second place finish at the 2011 Pan American Games and a sixth place finish at the 2012 Olympic Qualification Tournament. The team placed third at the 2013 World University Games in Russia and competed at the 2013 Swimming Federation (FINA) World Championships in Spain. This grant from the Women’s Sports Foundation seeks to further the team’s success at international competitions and lessen the financial burdens associated with training and traveling to these elite competitions held around the world.
U.S. Biathlon Women’s National Team, Biathlon, Lake Placid, NY
The U.S. Biathlon Women’s National Team consists of Annelies Cook, Hannah Dreissigacker, Sara Studebaker and Susan Dunklee and they combine the endurance sport of cross-country skiing with the precision action of shooting. Although it is the most popular winter sport in Europe, it is relatively unknown in the U.S. The U.S. Biathlon Women’s National Team is in a state of resurgence after finishing 12th in the overall Women’s World Cup for the 2012-2013 season. The team finished 8th in Mixed Relay at the 2013 World Championships. This grant will allow the team to procure training equipment such as roller skis and rifle stocks as well as to help with training camp costs, all with a collective eye towards competing at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
Chicago Pioneers Girls Baseball Team, Baseball, Skokie, IL
Since its inception in 2006, the Chicago Pioneers Girls Baseball team has had ten of its players selected to the Women’s National Baseball Team. There are few opportunities for female baseball players to play on an all-girls team. The majority of Pioneers players are high school and college students who have not just played baseball on women’s teams, but who also have been selected to boys high school baseball teams and elite boys travel teams that play in national tournaments. The Pioneers have played in four out of the last six championship games in women’s baseball and have been named champions twice, most recently as women’s baseball national champions in 2011. However, due to lack of funding the team was unable to defend its title in 2012 but the Pioneers finished in second place at the Eastern Women’s Baseball Diamond Classic. The team plans to use the funds from the Women’s Sports Foundation to attend the most elite women’s baseball tournaments including the Bantam Girls International Invitational Championships in Canada and the Women’s Baseball National Championships at the Roy Hobbs World Series in Florida.
Haley Spencer, Swimming, Minneapolis, MN
Haley Spencer, the team captain of the University of Minnesota swim team, has led the team to back-to-back Big Ten Championships. She is the current Big Ten record holder in the 200m breastroke. Spencer represented Team USA at the Pan-American games in 2011 and was an alternate for the World University Games this summer. The grant will help with her training and allow her to pursue her dream of representing the U.S. at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Madeline Wiencke, Snowboarding, Newport, MN
Madeline Wiencke was invited by the U.S. Olympic Committee to register for the 2014 Olympics, and will head to Europe for the trials in December and January for the Parallel Slalom and Parallel Giant Slalom. The White Bear Lake, Minn. native is the top ranked women’s Alpine snowboard racer in the country and a promising Olympic hopeful. The fund will defray the costs of travel and training so that she can attain her Olympic dreams in Sochi.
Jazmine Fenlator, Bobsled, Wayne, NJ
A survivor of Hurricane Irene, Jazmine Fenlator’s Olympic spirit remains tenacious. The grant from the Women’s Sports Foundation will go towards essential training and competition trips like the National Combine and Push Testing events needed to qualify for the World Cup and the Bobsled Olympic Team. This past season, she won silver and bronze at the World Cup events and is currently ranked eighth in the world after a series of nine World Cup races.
Breanna Sprenger, Paralympic Swimming, Avon, OH
Breanna Sprenger plans to use the grant to pay for travel expenses to compete in two International Paralympic Committe (IPC) approved disability swim meets. In March 2014, Spregner will compete in the CanAMs in Bismark, N.D. and in June 2014, she will compete in the Jimi Flowers Classic at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. She is only 12 years old but has a major goal of becoming a Paralympic swimmer. Born without legs or a right arm, under the classification of S1, she is ranked first in the 100m backstroke and second in the 50m backstroke freestyle and 100m freestyle.
Laura Sogar, Swimming, Austin, TX
A member of the USA National Swimming Team and a captain of the University of Texas Women’s swimming and diving team, Laura Sogar is the 2013 NCAA Champion in the 200y breaststroke. She is a six-time All-American and five-time Big 12 Champion. Her goal is to compete in the World Swimming Championships for Team USA in the 200m breaststroke and to represent the Olympic Team in 2016.
Madison Gorelik, Freestyle Skiing, Park City, UT
Madison Gorelik is an aerialist whose goal is to join the U.S. Olympic Freestyle Ski Team. Gorelik, a freestyle skier, exhibits both the cool demeanor of a skier and the precision acrobatics of a gymnast. In 2012, in only her second year of aerials competition, she garnered a lot of attention with five NorAm podium finishes and a bronze medal at U.S. Championships. Gorelik is currently ranked fifth in the U.S. and has won two first place finishes at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Freestyle Ski NorAm Cup in Lake Placid and in Canada this year. With the grant from the Women’s Sports Foundation she is now poised to continue her journey to fulfill her international and Olympic ambitions.
Bree Schaaf, Bobsled, Bremerton, WA
The grant will be applied for travel and training costs for the 2014 U.S. Women’s Bobsled Olympic Trials. Bree Schaaf was the pilot of her underdog Bobsled team that finished in fifth place at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games which paved the way for the expansion of the U.S. Women’s Bobsled National Team. In fact, in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, USA Women’s Bobsled finished in third, fifth and sixth Place. Schaaf was the 2013 Overall North American Cup Women’s Bobsled Champion and one of the driving forces behind expanding the relatively new Women’s 2-Man Bobsled team into the first American all 4 woman team at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
2017: Travel & Training Recipients>>>
2016: Travel & Training Recipients>>>
2015: Travel & Training Recipients>>>
2014: Travel & Training Recipients>>>
2012: Travel & Training Recipients>>>
2011: Cycle Two Travel & Training Recipients>>>
2011: Cycle One Travel & Training Recipients>>>
2010: Travel & Training Recipients>>>