European athletes of the week for October 22, 2009
Last week: Last week: Gilbert, a senior playing quarterback for the first season in his career, completed 10 of 19 passes for 241 yards and six touchdowns Saturday at Menwith Hill, England, helping the Jaguars to the Division III regular-season title with a 56-20 victory.
Saturday’s effort helped keep Sigonella (5-0) unbeaten and earned the Jags a host’s berth in the European nine-man semifinals on Oct. 31. It also raised Gilbert’s numbers for the season to 48-for-85 for 1,014 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has thrown just one interception.
“Brett’s previous three years were spent at defensive back and kicker,” Sigonella coach Matt McKown said Monday. “Brett brings a wrestler’s grit and toughness as the field general of the balanced offense run by Sigonella, and has shown he is as adept at running the ball from his position as he is passing.”
“Brett is especially good at utilizing all of his weapons on offense. He has shown an excellent ability at distributing the ball to multiple receivers and running backs, making it hard for defenses to key on any one player.”
Olivia DarrowCross CountryHeidelberg
Last week: Darrow, a junior, on Saturday won the first of three straight tests against defending Division I champion Natalie Pecoraro of Frankfurt International School. Darrow, who finished 14 places behind Pecoraro in last October’s finals, covered her home-course 5,000 meters in 20 minutes, 51 seconds. Pecoraro clocked 21:07.
“Olivia has worked since the spring to improve her fitness,” said Sharon Brady, coach of the defending girls champion Lady Lions. “This is the first year she trained continuously through the summer. When I asked her why, she said last year she was 15th at Europeans, just outside the awards, and she vowed to break into the top 14. I think she is well on her way.”
“While Olivia has always practiced hard, she is more focused this year. I believe this is because she sees a direct connection between how she practices and her achievement on the course.
Darrow and Pecoraro will meet again this Saturday, this time on Pecoraro’s home course. A week later, it’s back to Heidelberg for the Europeans.
Selected by Stars and Stripes staff