Written by Gary Scheer
The honor of elite athlete of the year is achieved by hard work, dedication and skill. The title is bestowed on one Coast Guard female athlete and one male athlete each year. These athletes reached this high level of athletic success on their own time, after performing their military duties and responsibilities.
Recently, the Coast Guard announced the two Coast Guard active duty members that earned this award for their athletic accomplishments in 2015, as well as a new award honoring a Coast Guard team.
Lt. Nyrel Allen is the 2015 Coast Guard elite female athlete of the year. She earned this recognition in the sport of powerlifting. A native of Tucson, Arizona, Allen maintained an intensive training regime which came together in 2015 at the Washington State Championship. Competing in both the Open and Military divisions, she set 12 Washington State RAW (unequipped) and Gear Military records in her weight class. Competing at the 2015 Military Nationals in Atlanta, she placed first in the RAW Open Powerlifting, single bench press, and single lift deadlift, placing first overall at the meet. After accepting an invitation to compete at the 2015 World and International Championship in Las Vegas, Allen placed first in three events in the Open division and set four Women’s Military RAW World records. Allen also gave back to her local community through volunteerism with Girl Scouts and has also led sessions on teaching third through 12th grade students on the adverse impact of bullying. She is current stationed at the Coast Guard 13th District office in Seattle.
Petty Officer 1st Class Lindsey Arcangel, a damage controlman, is the 2015 Coast Guard elite male athlete of the year. Arcangel distinguished himself in the sport of Brazilian jiujiutsu. He competed and placed in several national and international competitions. He received a bronze medal for placing third in the Pan jiujiutsu Championship, one of the largest international tournaments of its kind in the world. He took home second place in the San Jose North American Grappling Association Championship, second in the Rio Combat/Oakland Mixed Martial Arts/Pacific Ring Fight Club In-House Tournament, third in the Santa Cruz Brazilian jiujiutsu Pro, and second in the jiujiutsu World League San Francisco Open. Arcangel also gave back to his community by teaching jiujiutsu in the local area. Arcangel is currently stationed at Coast Guard Base Alameda, California.
Recognizing that sports competition builds camaraderie and esprit de corps, the Coast Guard developed and awarded for the first time in 2015, a unit sports team award. For 2015, Coast Guard Maritime Safety & Security Team Los Angeles/Long Beach team won this award. The unit sports team competed in a variety of running and cycling events in 2015, most notably the Mojave Death Race and the Bataan Memorial Death March. The Mojave Death Race is a grueling 275-mile, 24-hour relay race in the Mojave Desert that consisted of 24 legs that included running, mountain biking and road cycling, all the while enduring temperatures well above 100 degrees. The team finished third in the first responder division and 15th overall. The annual Bataan Memorial Death March consists of a 26.2 mile race in full uniform at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. This race is held in honor of Bataan Death March survivors. MSST LA/LB members respectfully brought home a 15th and 16th place finish in the military light category. The team also gave back to the community through a number of outreach projects, including “Heal the Bay,” the Cabrillo Beach clean-up program and “Coasties in the Community,” creating a monthly volunteer event for other community programs in the local area.
Bravo Zulu to our award winners!
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