St. Katherine Drexel Grad Will Represent United States at World Championships
NEW ORLEANS – Alia Armstrong, an elite hurdler and sprinter from LSU, has been selected as the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month for June. Monthly award-winners are selected by the Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Armstrong, a sophomore at LSU and a graduate of St. Katherine Drexel Prep in New Orleans, had a memorable month of June as she won an NCAA Championship and then earned a position on the United States National Team. At the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on June 11, she posted a time of 12.57 seconds in rainy conditions to capture LSU’s first 100-meter hurdle title since 2000. She followed her NCAA Championship performance by placing third in the 100-meter hurdles at the United States Track & Field Championships (all athletes, including professionals) to earn a slot on Team USA for the Track & Field World Championships to be held later this month. She posted a time of 12.47 seconds to earn her spot on the national team. Armstrong and her teammates also earned a fourth-place finish in the 4×100 meter relay at the national championships.
The Track & Field World Championships, officially known as the World Athletics Championships, are scheduled for July 15-24 in Eugene, Ore., with Armstrong scheduled to compete in the opening heats of the 100-meter hurdles on Saturday, July 23 at 1 :20 p.m. Central. The semifinals and final are scheduled for Sunday, July 24.
Armstrong earned the honor over four other top local athletes:
• Rhett Centanni had a double dose of baseball excellence in June. Playing for Archbishop Rummel-based Malcolm Dienes, in the CrescentCitySports.com Prep Summer League, he batted .452 (14-for-31) with three home runs and 14 RBI to lead his team to a second-place finish and a playoff spot . On weekends, he played for Gibbs Construction in American Legion baseball and batted .565 (13-for-23) with four doubles and eight RBI in 12 games.
• Jayden Hauck, a 2022 Hammond High School graduate, fired her best game of the tournament in the championship match to claim the girls’ singles title at the US High School Bowling National Championship in Louisville on June 20. The No. 2-seeded Hauck defeated top-seeded Cara Beissel of Seabreeze, Florida, 249-222, for the title, after advancing out of a one-game rolloff against the third and fourth seeds. It was the first national championship for Louisiana since the event began in 2016.
• Ellie Schneider, a 6-4 middle blocker for the Cajunland Volleyball club, led her team to an 11-2 record and a consolation championship at AAU nationals in Orlando, Fla. “She led our team in kills and blocks,” coach Ashley Blink said. “She’s good. But it’s the extra things that make her special from her… her leadership from her, her ability to rally her teammates and be so supportive of them. Verbally committed to the University of Kansas, she will be a senior this fall at Country Day.
• Cali Smith, a young sprinter for the New Orleans Metro Stars, broke the meet record for the 9-and-under age group in the 200-meter dash with a time of 29.05 at the AAU Regional 11 national qualifier held at Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond from June 14-18. A student at Abney Elementary School in Slidell, she will compete in the AAU Junior Olympics in Greensboro, NC, from August 1-6.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee has been selecting an Amateur Athlete of the Month each month since 1957. 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.
Recent Greater New Orleans Amateur Athletes of the Month:
June Alia Armstrong Track & Field LSU
May Ismael Kone Track & Field University of New Orleans
April Tristyn Baugh Softball Archbishop Hannan High School
March Myles Burns Basketball Loyola University
February Kelsey Major Soccer Dominican High School
Jaylee Womack Basketball Ponchatoula High School
January Derek St. Hilaire Basketball University of New Orleans
December Kyle Cannon Football St. Charles Catholic High School
November Kate Baker Volleyball Dominican High School
October Dai’Jean Dixon Football Nicholls State University
September Brian Jenkins Football Pearl River High School
August Christian Westcott Baseball New Orleans Boosters
July William Good Baseball Retif Oil Legion
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 100 Hall of Fame players, 51 Hall of Fame coaches and 20 Heisman Trophy winners in its 88-year history. The 89th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, which will feature top teams from the SEC and the Big 12, is scheduled to be played on December 31, 2022. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards, scholarships and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors thousands of student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.2 billion into the local economy in the last decade. For more information, visit www.AllstateSugarBowl.org.