Track Stars Collect NOLA Athlete of the Month Honors for June and July park
A pair of local track stars, one distance runner and one sprinter, have been selected as the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month for June and July, respectively. Eric Coston, an All-American miler from St. Paul's School was the June winner and Aleia Hobbs, a national champion 100-meter runner headed for LSU was recognized for her July accomplishments. The monthly award-winners are chosen in voting by the Greater New Orleans Sports Award Selection Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Coston, who will be a sophomore for the St. Paul's cross country team this fall, capped off one of the most-decorated freshman season in the history of Louisiana prep track and field. With a win in the Freshman 1 Mile at the New Balance National Outdoor Track and Field Championship on June 13, Coston defended his indoor national title and notched his second All-American accolade. His personal-best time for the mile defeated runner-up Nick Dahl by nearly four seconds, 4:21.55-4:25.03. Coston ran 4:16.48 for 1,600 meters to finish runner-up at the Class 5A State Championship on May 10. "It's great," Coston said. "To have the top times in the state and the country is something I've always wanted to work myself up to." He will look to defend his Class 5A State cross country championship this fall.
Hobbs picked up a pair of first-place finishes at the USATF Junior Olympic Championships held July 21-27 in Humble, Texas. The freshman-to-be at LSU won the 100-meter dash while also helping the 4×100 relay team to first place. Hobbs and her teammates had qualified for the national meet, which featured over 6,000 athletes, with a successful showing at the Region 6 meet in Homewood, Ala. In addition to winning the 100 at the regionals, Hobbs' 400-meter relay team set a meet record (45.06) at that event. She was named the High School Track Performer of the Year following her senior season at McMain High School.
Other top candidates for June included Elise Bradley (LSU Golf), who won the women's state amateur title; Alexandra Thomas (Louisiana Fire Navy Soccer Club), who led her team to the championship match of the Under-17 girls bracket of the US Youth Soccer Region III Championship; and Justin Walker (Northwestern State Track and Field), who earned-team All-America recognition in two sprinting events at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The July runner-up was Jace Nini, a summer baseball star for Refuel Legion. Nini batted .422 for the month to go with a 3.31 ERA on the mound.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee has been selecting an Amateur Athlete of the Month each month since 1958. The athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region in order to be eligible. Each of the monthly award winners will be honored in the summer at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.