From the Vermont Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, of which Jamie Biggam and I are active members:
VERMONT — The Vermont Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association has named Barre racecar driver Nick Sweet as its July Open Division Athlete of the Month.
Sweet, who was nominated by VSSA member Anna Grearson of the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, edged fellow nominees Vermont Mountaineers baseball player John Mishu and two swimmers, Peter Mikheyev of the St. Albans Sharks and Kira Hancock of the Town of Essex Swim Team, in a statewide vote of all VSSA members.
Sweet really hit a dominant stride in July in the top division at the Thunder Road racetrack. The Late Model driver from Barre had five top-five finishes, including three wins, to boost his point lead to over 100 points by month's end over reigning King of the Road Dave Pembroke of Montpelier.
Sweet started off the month with a win in the Northfield Savings Bank Holiday event (out of 23); was sixth in Charter Communications night (out of 25); won the Vermont Governor's Cup (out of 30); won the Times Argus Mid-Season Championship, worth double points (out of 22); and was eighth out of 24 in the We Dig Barre event.
His Governor's Cup win (and Pembroke's second-place finish) gave him the Vermont State Late Model Championship series tie with Pembroke (244 points) with one event remaining: a 100-lapper at Devil's Bowl in September. He won the first VSLMC race at Thunder Road on May 27.
His streak of success in July earned him another invite to the annual ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, also in September.
The VSSA will grant another Open Division honor in August, and then for September and throughout the academic year will again hand out Male and Female High School Athlete of the Month honors as well as the Open Division award.