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2018 Travel & Training Fund Recipients

The Women’s Sports Foundation has awarded a total of $72,000 to 17 athletes and two teams through our Travel & Training Fund program. The 2018 grantees hail from 15 states and compete in 16 sports. With many athletes training for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, World Championships and more, the Travel & Training Fund helps fuel the athletic dreams of competitors, and is generously supported by WSF National Partners Gatorade and Fox Networks Group.

*Biographical information provided at the time of application submission, March 2018

Christine Cavallo, Rowing, Redwood City, Calif.

Christine Cavallo is fresh off of her collegiate career at Stanford University and hopes to transfer her collegiate success onto the national and international level. She won back-to-back national championships at Stanford in 2016 and 2017 — the latter of which saw her set the new course record — and won the World Rowing Indoor Championships by setting a new world record at the event. She also earned All-American honors in 2017 while at Stanford and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player. In hopes of qualifying for the 2020 Olympics, Christine will be heavily focusing on training for the Games. This will include relocating to Boston, Mass., to pursue focused training around some of the best rowers in the country. The Travel & Training Fund grant will help Christine purchase rowing equipment and alleviate her travel expenses associated with training.

Amanda Dennis, Goalball, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Amanda Dennis is passionate about the game of goalball on and off the court. Outside of her athletic pursuits, Amanda has provided service to communities across the country by introducing goalball to young girls who might not have the opportunity to experience her niche sport. On the court, she plans to improve her offensive game to propel the U.S. National Team to gold at the 2020 Olympic Games. This goal will be aided by the Travel & Training Fund grant, as the money will go to new equipment such as knee and elbow pads, travel expenses for tournaments that are required for participation on the national team and training expenses while she is at home preparing for tournaments.

Kelsey Dickinson, Biathlon, Winthrop, Wash.

With limited popularity in the United States and low participation rates among women, Kelsey Dickinson is looking to draw awareness to the sport of biathlon. Kelsey has competed in five International Biathlon Union Cup events in the past three years along with several other national biathlon tournaments. Her long-term goal is to make the 2022 national team and qualify for the 2023 IBU World Championships. Kelsey also hopes to coach the sport in the future to help build awareness and inspire other young women to participate in biathlon. The Travel & Training Fund grant will be used to help Kelsey fund her expenses for the IBU European Championships and the cost of new equipment.

Jacquelyn Eleey, Golf, Quincy, Mass.

Following her stellar golf career at Georgetown University, Jacquelyn Eleey is preparing to take her game to the next level in the coming years as she transitions into full-time play. Jacquelyn’s success has led her to several major victories and awards, including All-Big East first team honors, the 2018 Big East Player of the Year and the 2018 Big East Championships with her fellow Hoyas. In order to take the next step in her career, Jacquelyn plans to move to Florida to begin daily training with her coach. After May 2018, she will no longer have the support of Georgetown University for her travel, training and tournament fees. The Travel & Training Fund grant will make it possible for Jacquelyn to afford the coaching payments necessary to contend on Sundays on the LPGA tour.

Christina Epps-Chiazor, Track & Field, Aberdeen, Md.

Christina Epps-Chiazor is an elite track and field athlete with a decorated resume in the triple jump. Christina’s recent success includes first-place finishes at the Penn Relays, Indoor National Championships and Outdoor National Championships, which ultimately propelled her to the 2016 Olympic Games. Following the recent birth of her first child, Christina has set her sights on another Olympic Games. She hopes to solidify her return to top form with a top-10 finish at the track and field National Championships. Christina plans to utilize the Travel & Training Fund grant for travel, equipment and coaching expenses.

Rosie Frankowski, Skiing-Cross Country, Anchorage, Alaska

Coming off her first Olympic berth at the 2018 Games in PyeongChang, Rosie Frankowski has set her sights on improving in her sport of cross-country skiing. Rosie has continued to excel with top-five finishes in the 10km and 20km events at the 2017 National Championships. Her performance at the Olympics and her first-place finishes at the Continental Cup in Italy this past year have made her realize she has true potential to be a serious contender on the international level. Her goal is to qualify for the Holmenkollen World Cup 30k, an event that attracts many world-class athletes, which she hopes will bring her back to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. The Travel & Training Fund grant will provide Rosie with the proper funding for travel to both training camps over the summer and competitions in the winter so that she can focus on qualifying for the 2019 World Championship team.

Abby Gustaitis, Rugby, San Diego, Calif.

Among her several international competition appearances, up-and-coming rugby star Abby Gustaitis placed second at the 2016 Coral Coast International Sevens and the 2017 HSBC Women’s Sevens World Series. Abby plans to achieve her goal of representing the United States at the Rugby World Cup Sevens and hopes to become one of the best female rugby players in both the sevens and the fifteens. She also has her sights set on medaling at the 2020 Olympic Games. Besides being an accomplished athlete, Abby is constantly trying to grow the game of rugby. Abby coaches youth clinics and women’s rugby teams for the United States Naval Academy and Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, and the Travel & Training Fund grant will help relieve some of Abby’s financial burden by allowing her to pay for airfare and accommodations.

Mazie Hayden, Skiing, Pittsfield, Vt.

Mazie Hayden is a dual-sport athlete with an impressive resume in both skiing and biking. She was selected to represent the United States at the 2017 and 2018 Junior Worlds and finished third at the 2017 Australia New Zealand Cup for skiing. Among her various awards and scholarships, Mazie was named the 2017 Vermont Junior Athlete of the Year by Vermont Sports. Mazie has also set ambitious goals and has her eyes set on representing the U.S. at the ski cross World Championships and becoming the first American woman to qualify for the Olympic Winter Games in ski cross, which has been an Olympic sport since 2010 but has never seen a female American competitor, all while pursuing a degree in medicine. Since ski cross is not yet funded by the United States Ski and Snowboard Association, it is extremely difficult for Mazie to keep up with ski travel and training expenses. The Travel & Training Fund grant will be used to help Mazie cover the costs of her training to allow her to reach her full potential in the sport.

Deedra Irwin, Biathlon, Pulaski, Wisc.

Deedra Irwin is an all-around athlete who has recently transitioned from Nordic skiing to the sport of biathlon. Soon after making the transition, she quickly broke onto the international stage by qualifying for her first IBU World Cup event. Deedra looks to maintain her momentum in her new sport by qualifying and competing in the IBU World Cup next season. Since Deedra is new to biathlon and currently on the development team, all expenses are self-funded. The high cost and limited resources make it difficult for her to reach her full potential. With the help of the Travel & Training Fund grant, Deedra will be able to participate in more international tournaments and fund other training expenses.

Briauna Jones, Bobsled, Lake Placid, N.Y.

Although new to the sport of bobsled, Briauna Jones is already a force to be reckoned with. She was the only rookie to make the women’s bobsled national team in the 2016-2017 season and earned the alternate spot on the Olympic Team in just her second season. In 2017, Briauna participated in seven international competitions and pushed Women’s Sports Foundation president-elect Elana Meyers Taylor to victory in the women’s bobsled World Cup race in Switzerland. She also teamed with Meyers Taylor to claim victory in the Park City, Utah, North American Cup race. Additionally, she was awarded the 2017 Women’s Bobsled Rookie of the Year award by USA Bobsled & Skeleton. In the next five years, Briauna aims to achieve her ultimate goal of competing on the U.S. Olympic Team as a bobsled pilot. With the assistance of the Travel & Training Fund grant, Briauna will be able to offset the costs of accommodation and airfare for various competitions including the U.S. National Team Trials.

Zoe Kalapos, Snowboarding, Avon, Colo.

Zoe Kalapos is a competitive snowboarder who has competed at the international level in several tournaments in the past few years. In 2017, she was the Toyota Revolution Tour Women’s Overall Snowboard Halfpipe Champion and was also awarded the USA Snowboard Association National Halfpipe Title. Zoe’s ultimate goal is to make the Olympic Team and represent the United States at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in women’s halfpipe. She currently mentors young female snowboarding athletes at the Ski and Snowboard Club in Vail, Colo., and also helps girls with skateboarding skills at her local skate park. In the future, Zoe is interested in working for the Women’s Sports Foundation and assisting young female athletes. Zoe plans to use her grant to cover various travel and training expenses such as coaching fees, airfare and lodging.

Jaelin Kauf, Skiing-Downhill, Park City, Utah

Jaelin Kauf is currently the No. 1 U.S. Mogul athlete and finished this season ranked No. 2 in the world. Her recent success is highlighted by two first-place finishes in international competitions during the 2017-2018 World Cup season. In 2016, Jaelin was also awarded the World Cup Rookie of the Year and All Star of the Year awards. Utilizing her platform as an Olympic athlete, Jaelin wants to be a role model for young girls in their pursuits and show them that it is possible to achieve a high level of athletic and academic success. She has been asked to speak at a number of events including college graduations and Interactive Day in San Diego, Calif. She hopes to use such platforms to shed light on how the Women’s Sports Foundation assists young girls to participate in athletics, build self-confidence, set goals and open new doors to careers both in sport and out. With the assistance of the Travel & Training Fund grant, Jaelin will pursue her goals of joining Team USA for a second Olympic appearance in 2022 and capturing gold to propel the sport forward in the U.S.

Maxine Lisot, Karate, Richardson, Texas

Maxine Lisot is a member of Team USA Karate and a multiple international tournament medalist in the -55 kilogram kumite (sparring) weight category. She aims to represent the United States at the 2020 Olympic Games, becoming the first female American karate fighter to earn an Olympic berth. She took a big step towards that goal in 2017 by placing third at the Wado International Karate-Do Federation World Meet & Congress. Maxine looks to empower women in athletics who aspire to achieve greatness in their given sport. The Travel & Training Fund grant will help Maxine pay for airfare, room and board and registration/coaching fees for multiple international trips across three continents for the 2018 fall season. Additionally, it will also help offset monthly costs for training facility usage, appropriate personal training and nutrition counseling and karate equipment.

Hellen Moffitt, Swimming, Charlotte, N.C.

Hellen Moffitt is an elite swimmer with a passion for empowering women and promoting inclusion in the sport of swimming. As a current member of the USA Swimming National Team, Hellen won gold medals at the 2017 FINA Short Course World Championships and 2017 World University Games. Hellen’s success in the pool was rewarded when she received the 2017 ‘Record Breaking Performance’ by the University of North Carolina Athletic Department and the Richard E. Jamerson ‘Most Outstanding Swimmer’ award by University of North Carolina swimming and diving team. Her primary goal for this year is to medal at the Pan Pacific Championships, and she ultimately hopes to qualify for the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games. The Travel & Training Fund grant will help Hellen take time off of her job and focus on swimming full-time. The money will be used to fund monthly coaching costs, strength-training costs and travel expenses that are not covered by her sport’s national governing body.

Molly Moore, Paralympic Rowing, Brighton, Mass.

Utilizing her own experience, Molly Moore is dedicated to forwarding the inclusion of women and athletes with disabilities in sports. Molly attended her first U.S. Rowing selection camp the summer after her freshman year at Harvard and has since raced with the U.S. Para National Team in Italy. Furthermore, she won first place at the 2016 and 2017 Head of Charles national events. She was also an alternate for the 2014 U.S. National Team and 2016 Paralympic Games. In 2017, Molly was awarded the ‘Most Inspirational’ award for Harvard Radcliffe rowing, which is one of two awards given to graduating senior. The honor is given to the athlete who has contributed most to the welfare, commitment and cohesiveness of the team. Because Molly is no longer a collegiate rower she is fully responsible for her travel and training costs. She will be using the Travel & Training Fund grant to finance more elite-level training and travelling to several races as she as she moves along the path to training for the 2020 and 2024 Paralympic Games.

Sara Roderick, Skeleton, South Burlington, Vt.

As a newcomer to the sport of skeleton, Sara Roderick was prepared for the expenses that came along with the sport, but didn’t expect to excel so quickly. Sara finished the season as the Eastern Regional Champion along with a sixth-place finish at the USA Skeleton National Championship in Lake Placid, N.Y. Sara had the fastest start time for Team USA at the Lake Placid track. She was also awarded the 2015 Jeff Stone Memorial Award and the 2014 Women Student-Athlete of the Year award by the University of Vermont’s Athletic Department. Some of her future goals include competing on the World Cup tour and a future Olympic Winter Games. Sara is looking to increase her training in order to continue to compete at a high level. Utilizing the Travel & Training Fund grant, Sara will be able to focus solely on her training and will use the funds to supplement the cost of training and transportation.

Kamali Thompson, Fencing, Teaneck, N.J.

Kamali Thompson has excelled in the sport of fencing in recent years. She has competed both at the collegiate level with Temple University and on the national and international level as a member of Team USA. Kamali placed in the top three at the Division I North American Cup on three separate occasions and has competed at several grand prix events across the globe. She was also an alternate for Team USA at the 2016 Olympic Games. She hopes to continue to improve her game, qualify for the national team at the World Championships and earn a spot on Team USA for the 2020 Olympic Games. The Travel & Training Fund grant will aid her in her quest to reach an Olympics Games as she will use it to pay for travel expenses to competitions both domestic and abroad and to purchase new equipment.

USA Softball Women’s National Team, Oklahoma City, Okla.

The USA Softball Women’s National Team is the most decorated program in the sport’s history. As the softball world begins its quest to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games, USA Softball will compete and train for two international competitions before participating in the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation World Championships, an Olympic qualifier. The team had a successful season last year as it won the Pan American Championships in the Dominican Republic and came in second at the Japan Cup and the World Cup of Softball.USA Softball Team members Valerie Arioto and Haylie McCleney were also Women’s Sports Foundation’s “Sportswoman of the Year Team Sport Finalists” in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The Travel & Training Fund grant will not only help build the program but also aid in minimizing the cost associated with team travel.

USA Women’s University National Netball Team, Westminster, Calif.

The USA Women’s University National Netball Team is dedicated to excelling on the court and inspiring with girls across the country to pursue the unique sport of netball. The team is currently ranked seventh according to the World University rankings. In the last two U.S. Open Netball Championships, the squad has finished second and fourth, respectively, and took fifth at the Canada Open National Championships and seventh in the FISU World University Netball Championships. It also won the 2016 Volunteers of the Year Award for Netball America for helping their surrounding communities and spreading the sport across the country. The Travel & Training Fund grant will help the team travel to FISU World University Netball Championships in Uganda in October 2018. The team will use the grant to contribute to coaching costs and equipment purchases.

 

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