February and March winners: Jamie Cooke, Kirsten McAslan, and Llyod Wallace (Lizzy Yarnold not pictured).
Revo Sunglasses, MENRAD OPTICS UK, and ELLIS & KILLPARTRICK OPTICIANS are proud to support TEAM BATH’S Athletes of the Month awards program. Team Bath is the University of Bath’s athletic program that provides world-class athletic facilities and training to student, professional, and recreational athletes. Known for their top performing athletes, several Team Bath athletes have gone on to represent Team GB at the summer and winter Olympic Games.
The awards program recognizes one male and one female athlete each month for their outstanding performance in their perspective sport. This week we highlight February’s and March’s winners: modern pentathlete JAMIE COOKE, 400m runner KIRSTEN MCASLAN, skeleton slider LIZZY YARNOLD, and aerial skier LLOYD WALLACE.
Cooke recently won the Sarasota World Cup in the United States, after previously winning the 2013 World Cup in Hungary and the 2011 World Junior Championships in Argentina.
For those not familiar with modern pentathlon, it’s an Olympic sports comprised of five events: fencing, 200m freestyle swimming, show jumping, pistol shooting, and 3200m cross-country running. (We get exhausted just thinking about it.)
The 23-year-old also made the 2012 London Olympic qualifying standard by placing 4th at the 2011 European Championships in Kent—even though he’d been on crutches the day before the championships. Although he wasn’t selected to compete, he’s eager to represent Team GB in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, and his recent gold metal is an excellent start. Regarding his win, Cooke said, “Winning at the World Cup was nice because you put so much work in during the winter and you don’t know how it is going to until you get out there.”
This week Cooke competes at World Cup 4 in Hungary, and will be competing at this summer’s European Championships at the University of Bath. Cooke said, “It is fantastic for my efforts to have been recognized with this award and to be in such great company.”
McAslan, a student-athlete studying Biochemistry at the University of Bath, has had a successful two months. The 20-year-old won the 400m at the Sainsbury’s British Indoor Championships—while also achieving a personal best of 53.05—in February. McAslan then placed 2nd in the 4x400m relay with Laura Maddox at the European Indoor Athletics Championship in March.
Previously McAslan was selected to represent Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, and she won the 4x400m relay at the European Junior Championships in Tallinn, Estonia.
McAslan recently returned from a three-week altitude training camp in South Africa, and next week she’ll represent Bath in the 400m at the British Universities and Colleges Championship, which she won the two years ago. On receiving the award, McAslan said “It was a really nice surprise to get the email saying I had won this award. There are lots of great athletes here at Bath and it is a real privilege to receive this prize.”
Yarnold made history on March 7th when she won the 2015 World Championship in Wintersberg, Germany, becoming the first British slider and the second woman ever to hold the Olympic, World, and European titles at the same time. Not only did the 26-year-old win the World Championship, Yarnold broke the track record on March 6th, and then lowered it again in the last of her 4 runs.
Leading up to the World Championship, Yarnold won 6 World Cup races, the 2015 European Championship in Igls, Austria, and the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. At the Olympics, Yarnold led all 4 runs, and won by 0.97—the largest margin ever.
Adding to her impressive list of accomplishments is the fact that Yarnold began sliding only 6 years ago. She was introduced to the sport after entering the UK Sport talent ID program Girls 4 Gold in 2008, and became an Olympic Champion within 5 years.
In addition to her successes on the track, Yarnold was awarded an MBE for Services to Sport in June 2014. She is a Geography & Sports Science graduate, and hopes to use her success to improve young girls’ body image and encourage them to play sports and be active.
Wallace is a student-athlete studying Sports Performance at the University of Bath. The 20-year-old began aerial skiing 6 years ago and has competed in international competitions for 5 seasons. This season he won a Europa Cup and placed 2nd at another Europa Cup, 3rd at the Junior World Championships, and 2nd overall at the 2015 Europa Cup. Wallace also placed 11th at the World Cup Finals and 15th at the World Championships.
Wallace was awarded a quota spot for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, and although he wasn’t selected for Team GB, he’s determined to go to the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.
After receiving the Athletes on the Month award, Wallace said, “It is awesome to win this award, an absolute honor. This is a high-performance university, so just to be classed in the same league as the athletes who train here is pretty crazy.”
In addition to the award, each athlete received a pair of Revo Sunglasses from Ellis & Killpartrick Opticians. A huge congrats to the winners, and be sure to follow COOKE, MCASLAN,WALLACE, and YARNOLD on Twitter to keep up with their upcoming events and updates!