Ryan Finley, a boys' soccer player from Rancocas Valley High of Lumberton, N.J., and Ashley Brasovan, a girls' cross country runner from Wellington High of West Palm Beach, Fla., have been selected as the fifth ESPN RISE National Boys and Girls Athletes of the Week.
Finley, a member of the U.S. youth national team pool, scored both goals as Rancocas Valley upended perennial national power St. Benedict's of Newark, N.J., 2-1. The result gave Rancocas Valley the No. 1 ranking in New Jersey. Finley did not play at Rancocas Valley last season since he was training at the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. The highlight of Finley's international career so far was scoring the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win for the U.S. under-17 national team over the Czech Republic. He will play next fall at Duke University.
For the second straight week, Brasovan, the defending Foot Locker Finals national girls' cross country champion, had a monumental victory. This time, it was the competition and not the watch that made her feat impressive: In the Girls Race of Champions at the Great American Cross Country Festival in Hoover, Ala., she outran six other Foot Locker finalists and the defending Nike Team Nationals champion with a 17:17 for 5K. Brasovan now has the nation's best time and the nation's most impressive victory. She was also honored last week as the Southeast Region Girls Athlete of the Week. For more coverage of that meet and for more on Brasovan, go to DyeStat.com.
The full list of this week's ESPN RISE regional boys and girls athletes of the week follows:
East Region Athletes of the Week
Ryan Finley (Rancocas Valley, Lumberton, N.J.) -- see ESPN RISE National Boys Athlete of the Week.
Amanda Mazur (Chartiers Valley, Pa.) Mazur scored nine goals in three matches last week, including the
game-winner in the team's upset win over previous Pittsburgh No. 1 and undefeated Moon.
Southeast Region Athletes of the Week
Bill Matthews (Baylor School, Chattanooga, Tenn.) At this year's Great American Cross Country Festival held last weekend in Hoover, Ala., Matthews ran away with the top individual honor. After finishing fourth last year, Matthews came on strong over the last hill and won with a new course record. He clocked 15:34.3 at the tape and surpassed the previous course record of 15:37.0 set in 2004 by another Tennessee runner, Brentwood's Sean Keveren.
Ashley Brasovan (Wellington, Palm Beach, Fla.) -- see ESPN RISE National Girls Athlete of the Week.
Midwest Region Athletes of the Week
David Payne (St. Xavier, Louisville, Ky.) A junior, Payne led the Tigers to the school's fifth state golf title in the last 10 years, and 17th overall, as well as winning the individual medal honors, both in storybook finish. Trailing by two shots on the 18th tee, Payne carded a birdie that clinched the team title over defending champion Marshall County. He then entered a playoff for medal honors and parred No. 18 to dethrone defending titlist Travis Thompson, also of Marshall County.
Hannah Werth (Glenwood, Chatham, Ill.) The 6-foot outside hitter had 15 kills in a win over Lanphier and in the process broke a state record for career kills. According to the Illinois High School Association, Werth moved her career kills total to more than 1,700 after that match. She eclipsed the previous record of 1,697 in 2007 by Morton's Allison McGlaughlin. Werth has signed with Nebraska.
Southwest Region Athletes of the Week
Nathan Collier (Pottsboro, Texas) After finishing 11th in last year's state cross country championships, Collier is on pace to do much better this fall. At last weekend's Margo Harbison Invitational, Collier was dominant against the field with a 34-second win. He timed 17:29 over the 5K course, with no other runner able to break the 18-minute mark.
Nicole Workman (Tuttle, Okla.) Workman's team fell behind 5-0 to Fort Gibson in last weekend's Class 4A state softball championship, then she took over the pitching reins. Workman not only held down Fort Gibson the rest of the way, but keyed an offensive comeback as well. Then, in the bottom of the seventh inning with the score tied at 7-7, Workman smashed a home run to left center field. Tuttle claimed an 8-7 win and its second straight state title. Workman is just a sophomore, so the Tigers could be back next season.
West Region Athletes of the Week
Davey Armstrong (Rangeview, Aurora, Colo.) Armstrong scored twice in his team's 3-1 victory over Littleton, keeping the squad undefeated. Rangeview also is ranked No. 1 in the state by The Rocky Mountain News and is among the nation's top 25 in the ESPN RISE FAB 50. Armstrong has a team-high 18 goals.
Brianna DeBrock (Xavier, Phoenix, Ariz.) A dominant 6-foot-3 blocker up front, DeBrock led the way with eight kills and six blocks as Xavier Prep defeated Gilbert in two games to win the championship of last weekend's 32-team Goldwater volleyball tourney. DeBrock also played well earlier in the season when Xavier won the Westwood Tournament of Champions. Her team is going for its second straight state title.
Nominations can be sent in each week for consideration. Include brief reasons why the athlete should be chosen and what he or she did in the previous week, and send the nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org.