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MetroSports Magazine

PBR @ MSG Professional Bull Riders Kick Things up at Madison Square Garden 87th NY Daily News Golden Gloves

March-April 2016

2016 Manhattan Classic Gymnastics Local Youth Basketball Red Bull Illume 2016


Contents March / April 2016

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Features 4 American Bullfighters The Professional Bull Riders Bring Their Annual Pilgrimage to NYC’s Madison Square Garden 14 NY Golden Gloves Boxing The NY Daily News Hosts its 87th Edition of the Golden Gloves 20 The Manhattan Classic 3,000 Gymnasts Descend on NYC’s West Side Pier 94 for the Elite Gymnastics Manhattan Classic 28 Westchester Youth Basketball Executive Decisions: Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino Takes His Team to the Courts 34 Mixed Martial Arts in NYC ECF-9: Rage In The Cage 2 4 Red Bull Illume Image Quest Local College Student Entries for the 2016 Enhance Competition

Regular 39 Sports Photo Tip 40 Coach’s Corner 41 Athlete of the Month MSM selects its first Non-Human Athlete of the Month

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Train Like a Champion. Train with a Champion. MetroSports Magazine’s former Athlete of the Month and cover of our May-June 2015 issue, Keisher “Fire” McLeod, a former NY Golden Gloves Champion, current NYS Flyweight Champion and current WIBA World Flyweight Champion can now be your personal boxing trainer at the world famous Gleason’s Gym.

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MetroSports Magazine (MSM) is published six times a year by the New York Sports Photo Group. MSM is available online and can be downloaded in electronic format for viewing on tablet and hand-held devices, laptop and desktop computers and purchased as full-color glossy print editions. Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Art Director: Warren Rosenberg Publisher: New York Sports Photo Group: nyspg.com Features Editor: Warren Rosenberg Director of Photography: Clark Thompson Social Media: Clark Thompson Photo Contributors: Clark Thompson, Warren Rosenberg, Proofreader: Melissa Tougas Contributors: Thomas Chin, Fitness Advertising: For rate card contact warren@nyspg.com Please direct all inquiries to: warren@nyspg.com Visit us on the web at: MetroSportsMag.com

MetroSports Magazine accepts and welcomes photos, short articles, opinions and letters from our readers. There is no guarantee that unsolicited contributions will be published and MetroSports Magazine assumes no responsibility for failure to publish or for editing published contributions. The Contents of MetroSports Magazine consist of copyrightable and/or copyrighted material and cannot be reproduced without the express written consent of the publishers. MetroSports Magazine | 3


American Bullfighters

The Professional Bull Riders Bring Their Show to MSG The World’s Most Famous Arena illed as The Toughest Sport on Dirt, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) made their annual stop in New York City on January 15, 16 & 17 at The World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden (MSG). Calling MSG their home for the past ten years, the PBR fielded a collection of 148 athletes, 35 riders, 110 bulls and 3 bullfighters, in its three-day Built Ford Tough Series Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden.

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A truly international sport, 18 of the 35 participating riders hailed from the United States, 2 came from Canada, 12 from Brazil and 4 from Australia. During the three days of competition, all 35 bull riders competed in rounds 1, 2 and 3, testing their grit and skills against one bull in each round. The riders who earned the top 15 scores after the 3 rounds then competed in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for the $100,000 event title. Friday night also featured the 15/15 Bucking Battle pitching the top 15 riders against 15 of the highest-ranked and fiercest bulls on the PBR circuit for $21,000 in additional prize money. Sunday featured the Bonus Bull event in which one rider had the chance to win $25,000 by successfully completing an 8-second ride. Scoring in the PBR is on a 100 point scale with 50 points awarded to the rider and 50

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points awarded to the bull. It is to the riders advantage to be pitted against a high-scoring bull, with the 4 judges awarding the bull’s score based upon the speed and power of its bucking movements, how low it drops its front legs and how high it kicks its back legs when bucking, and how quickly and violently it rolls and moves its body as it tries to buck the rider off. The rider’s score is based upon his body control, ability to maintain position on the bull and, of course, managing to stay on for a full 8 seconds. Make it to 7.95 seconds and there’s no score for the rider - the bull wins. Central to the success of a PBR event, and to the safety of both riders and bulls, are the unsung hero athletes of the sport, the bullfighters, formerly known as the rodeo clowns. While they do dress in baggy and colorful outfits their skills and performance are no laughing matter. Facing Page: 2007 & 2014 PBR World Champion J.B. Mauny atop “Shaft”.


Photo: Warren Rosenberg

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Present at the Garden’s Built Ford Tough Series Monster Energy Buck Off were bullfighters Jesse Byrne, Shorty Gorham and Frank Newsome. The PBR’s bullfighters, sponsored by the Dickies woekwear clothing company, have, as their primary job, protecting the safety of the riders. More formally known as rodeo protection athletes, simply entertaining the crowd is no longer considered one of the bullfighter’s primary responsibilities. That role now belongs to “The Entertainer”, a fourth member of the supporting cast in the rodeo ring who wears face makeup, colorful clothes, and entertains the crowd between rides with comedy, dancing and acrobatics. Giving an admirable performance in this role at MSG was the PBR’s official Entertainer, Flint Rasmussen. The three bullfighters take up position in a triangular arrangement around the bull as soon as it leaves the chute and maintain this triangle around the bull throughout the 8 second or shorter ride. When a rider is bucked off or dismounts after a successful ride, the colorfullydressed bullfighters step directly into the bull’s line of vision to distract it from chasing the rider and providing a more attractive target for the bull to attack. Pictured on page 8, bullfighter Shorty Gorham can be clearly seen distracting the bull’s attention from the downed rider. Pictured on this page spread, Shorty stands squarely in the gaze of the 1500 pound “I’m A Gangster Too”. In addition to hoofs, horns, and crushing head butts, the bullfighters have to dodge gallons of flying bull saliva and mucus during each event. Photo: Warren Rosenberg

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Photo: Warren Rosenberg Above and Below: Bullfighters Shorty, Frank and Jesse at work protecting downed riders at Madison Square Garden

Photo: Warren Rosenberg

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Photo: Warren Rosenberg

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PBR Bullfighter Frank Newsome distracts the attention of a bucking bull from a downed rider. Frank’s colorful clothing and acrobatic movements provide a more attractive target than the dazed and defensless rider. Photo: Warren Rosenberg

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Unlike the bullfighters in Europe and Latin America armed with capes and swords, these American Bullfighters use only their intellect and athleticism in their one-on-one contest with the bull. Also, unlike their international counterparts whose task it is to dispacth the bull at the end of each contest, our American Bullfighters have a deep respect for the bulls and regard them as highly skilled athletes which, in fact, they are. The PBR’s bulls are provided by a group of approximately 100 stock contractors in the U.S. who breed, raise, train and care for these bovine athletes. Each bull is valued at between approximately $100,000 and $500,000 and are part of genetic breeding line known as the American Bucking Bull. Investors in PBR bucking bulls include the likes of the NFL’s John Elway, the NHL’s Wayne Gretsky and the late Tommy LaSorda of Major League Baseball. When they are not competing, bulls live comfortably on large ranches where they get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Bulls arrive for a PBR event about 24 hours before competition starts and are transported by truck. PBR regulations require that bulls travel no more than 10 hours a day with a 12-14 hour period of rest bewteen travel times. Every time they cross a state line, the bulls receive a mandatory federal and state health inspection.


In an August 2013 article, Forbes Magazine branded the PBR as the fastest growing sport in America. Forbes calculated that the twenty riders who formed the PBR in 1992 after breaking away from the traditional rodeo have made a better return on their initial $1,000 investments than have the owners of the most successful NFL franchise, the Dallas Cowboys, the San Francisco Giants baseball, the Miami Heat basketball and the Ultimate Fighting Championship MMA circuit. Below: Rider being Bucked Off the Back End

Photo: Clark Thompson

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Above. Clint Rasmussen, the PBR Entertainer at work


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2016 NY Golden Gloves

2016 marks the 89th year that the New York Daily News has sponsored the Golden Gloves amateur boxing tournament. During that time, over 1,000 young men and women have tested their skills in the squared circle with approximately1,500 Golden Gloves Champions crowned and 41 World Champions getting their start. This year’s tournament opened with bouts held at NYC’s BB King’s Blues Club and MetroSports Magazine’s Director of Photography, Clark Thompson, was on hand to capture the action. The tournament will include 36 events throughout the NY Metro area and conclude with the tournament finals on April 18th and 19th at Barclay’s Center, home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.

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Photo: Clark Thompson


Photo: Clark Thompson

Photo: Warren Photo: ClarkRosenberg Thompson

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2016 NY Daily News Golden Gloves Opening Night B.B. King Blues Club. January 28th photo by Clark Thompson


Photo: Warren Rosenberg, ZogSports-NYC

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The NY Daily News Golden Gloves tournament is one of 30 franchised tournaments conducted across the United States under the auspices of Golden Gloves America. As stated on its website, “It is the mission of the Golden Gloves of America, Inc. to provide an activity and safe environment that promotes and enhances the physical and emotional well-being and social development of young athletes; develops individual athletic skills, work ethic, discipline, sportsmanship, self-respect and pride; and provides entertainment to citizens of the community.” This year’s Daily News Golden Gloves kicked off on January 28th at midtown Manhattan’s BB King Blues Club. Along the way to the finals, scheduled for April 18-19 at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, the Golden Gloves will make stops in all five boroughs of the City and the metro suburbs of Plattduetshce restaurant in Hempstead, the Stl Lawrence Recreation Center in Hulburn, and at the Empire City Casino and the PAL in Yonkers. In past issues, MetroSports Magazine has featured former Golden Gloves champions Keisher Fire McLeod and Jennifer Santiago and we look forward to continuing to bring you boxing coverage from across the New York Metro region.

Heavyweight action from the Yonkers PAL. Photo by Clark Thompson

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Photo: Warren Rosenberg, ZogSports-NYC

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Manhattan Classic International Gymnastics Competition at Peir 94 in New York City

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ver 3,000 young women gathered in New York City’s Pier 94 on Manhattan’s west side for the annual Manhattan Classic gymnastics competition. Hosted by NYC Elite Gymnastics, this two-day tournament, now in its 13th year, welcomed competitors from 89 different gymnastics clubs from 20 States and and three foreign nations. Athletes competing in levels 2-10 and Xcel participated in this USA Gymnastics sanctioned New York State Qualifier event. The Manhattan Classic has come a long way from its beginning in 2003 when it held its first event on the grounds of Pace University’s Manhattan campus. The historic Pier 94, originally built in 1894, had once served as part of the City’s passenger ship terminal along with piers 88, 90 and 92 to the south. While piers 88 and 90 are still used for that purpose, piers 92 and 94 have now been converted to exhibition space regularly hosting such events as NYC Fashion Week, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and, of course, the Manhattan Classic gymnastics competition.

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Gymnasts and coach from J-Star Gymnastics in North Adams Massachussets enjoying their time in the Big Apple and icing down between events at the 2016 Manhattan Classic.


The competition host, NYC Elite Gymnastics, operates at three convenient sites in Manhattan, 200 Riverside Blvd on the upper west side, 421 east 91st street on the upper east side and 44 Worth street in Tribeca (the Triangle Below Canal Street). NYC Elite Gymnastics opened its first gym shortly after the disaster of 9/11 following the dream of owner and former gymnast Tina Ferriola. In its 15 years, NYC Elite has grown to include 40 staff members serving nearly 3,000 young athletes in recreational programs for those aged 9 months to 12 years along with a highly successful competitive team program. NY, NJ, CT, MA, PA, MI, GA, NC, CA, CO, NH, MD, NV, VT, IL, FL, TX, OH, VA, RI, Bermuda, Canada and the Cayman Islands. Among the more successful teams at the 2016 Manhattan Classic were those that scored multiple 1st Place All Around Titles, most notably: Gymnastics # All Around Team First Place Wins T.A.G 11 NYC Elite 11 Gymstrada 10 Apex 8 Sports, Fitness & Fun 7 Gold Medal 6 Brestyans 5 Huntington 5 Bermuda BER 5 Rebound 5 Eastern National 5

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Above: A level 5 gymnast from Pelham, New Hampshire’s A2 Gym and Cheer clears the vault.

Near Perfect !

Although no gymnast scored the coveted perfect 10 at the 2016 Manhattan Classic, the following five came pretty darn close. Alexiah Leguisamon, Maria Silvagni, Rose Lane, Regan Bondi, Ava Castelluccio,

Brestyans, Five Star, Sport Fitness & Fun, Gold Medal Rocky Point, Odyssey,

9.900 Floor 9.850 Vault 9.850 Vault

9.825 Vault

9.800 Vault


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2016 Manhattan Classic Team Standings - All Around Level

1st Place All around

2nd Place All Around

3rd Place All Around

Level 2 T.A.G USA Gravity NYC Elite 115.300 112.100 107.575 Level 3 T.A.G. USA Gravity Geonastics 115.300 113.600 112.575 Level 4 T.A.G. USA Sports Fitness & Fun M.G. Elite 113.600 113.375 113.300 Level 5 Sports Fitness & Fun Mid Island Brestyans 113.700 113.350 112.350 Level 6 Gymstrada Gold Medal Huntington Tampa Bay Turners 112.750 111.375 111.025 Level 7 Brestyans Deltchev Gymstrada 116.875 115.675 114.600 Level 8 Tampa Bay Turners Olympia Hills Brentwood Commons 113.225 111.850 111.200 Level 9 Tampa Bay Turners Galaxy Gold Medal Huntington 110.800 108.650 107.950 Level 10 Gymstrada Hunts World Class 112.125 107.850 107.725 Level BR Gold Medal Huntington All American Eastern National BR 111.175 111.000 110.775

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Photos: Clark Thompson


2016 Manhattan Classic Team Standings - All Around Level

1st Place All around

2nd Place All Around

3rd Place All Around

Level C1 Bermuda BER NYC Elite Silver Stars 109.350 109.125 108.825 Level C2 NYC Elite Gymtime Silver Stars 111.775 110.375 108.025 Level G0

Atlantic Coast 105.525 1st Place Tie

Will-Moor 105.525 1st Place Tie

Half Hollow Hills 105.075

Level PL Atlantic Coast U.S. G. Developmnt Cntr Eastern National Academy 99.800 71.950 71.750 Level SI Eastern Natnl Academy Ace Rebound 111.225 111.025 109.825 Level XB T.A.G. USA Gymnastics & More 10.0 Academy 113.475 113.175 112.725 Level XD Planet Gymnastics Concord A2 Gym & Cheer Galaxy 110.925 107.600 107.150 Level XG James J Harris YMCA Planet Gymnastics Concord Tampa Gymnastics & Dance 114.075 111.850 111.150 Level XP Tampa Bay Turners Planet Gymnastics Concord Head Over Heels 112.200 111.175 110.550 Level XS Brentwood Commons Exxcel Gymn & Climbing T.A.G. USA 114.625 113.200 112.900

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Executive Decisions: Coaching The Holy Rosary Boys Basketball Team As if the concerns of almost a million citizens in one of the nation’s most prosperous counties wasn’t enough, keeping a team of 10 young men on task, and focused on an 18 inch circle of orange-painted iron, has Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino pacing the sidelines of parish gyms throughout the County. As coach of the CYO’s Holy Rosary Boys Basketball Team from Hawthorne, NY, this busy public official unselfishly gives of his personal time to help

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guide his team and enrich the lives of the County’s youth. Under the leadership of team manager Rich Castellone and coach Rob Astorino, the Holy Rosary 7th Grade Boys Blue Division team compiled a very respectable eight wins against just four losses and placing 5th in the 11 team division. New York’s Catholic Youth Organization has been helping to guide the development of young people since its establishment by Patrick Cardinal Hayes in December of 1936.


Above: County Executive Astorino and his team at a Westchester Knicks home game at the Westchester County Center. Below: With Westchester Knicks General Manager and former N.Y. Knicks standout, Allan Houston.

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Youth Basketball Teams During Halftime Scrimmage at The Westchester Knicks Games

Transfiguration School

Olympic Gold Medalist and WNBA NY Liberty standout Teresa Weatherspoon poses with Immaculate basketball team.

Ken Dawson’s Playmaker Academy Hopewell Junction, NY

Yorktown Parks & Recreation


Photos: Clark Thompson

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Extreme Cage Fighting NYC’s MMA In our Jan/Feb 2016 issue, MetroSports Magazine introduced promoter Christian DeFeris’ NYC-based mixed martial arts competitions, Extreme Cage Fighting (ECF), and featured NYC-based actress Anais Almonte in her debut MMA victory. MetroSports Magazine’s Director of Photography, Clark Thompson was on hand at ECF’s March 5th ECF-9, Rage in the Cage 2 at the Melrose Ballroom in Astoria, NY. Featured here is some of the action from ECF-9.


Photos: Clark Thompson

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Sports Photo Tip Sponsored by Hunts Photo & Video

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Sports Photo Tip of the Month Choosing What to Shoot

hotographing sporting events provides an P exciting and challenging opportunity for both

amateur and professional photographers who wish to try new avenues of photographic expression and technical challenge. As the American photojournalist and National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson has been quoted as saying, “if you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff”. The exciting and fast moving action, colorful uniforms, the range of emotions and facial expressions running from sheer joy to heartbreaking disappointment, and the drama inherent in winning and losing all work to qualify sports as “interesting stuff”. For those looking to challenge their photographic skills, to try something a little different and outside of their normal comfort zone, sports photography is good place to look. While landscapes, portraits, still life and street photography are common subjects for many photographers, sports photography is a little different for most people and poses some unique technical and artistic challenges for photographers.

Determining What to Shoot Most sporting events are characterized by fast moving plays that require the photographer to constantly be on the ready and able to anticipate action as it develops. On the field, court, track or other venue, there is frequently lots of action to choose from and you’ve got to be able to determine where you set your sights which camera settings to select to capture the best images. It is always helpful to know something about the sport you are shooting: what the important plays are that make the most compelling photographs, who the important players are, the rules of com-

petiion and any history between the competing teams to be able to focus on any long-standing rivalries between competitors. You should also pay attention to the sidelines and benches where some wonderful photo opportunities can be found of players cheering on their teammates, or coaches sharing private moments with their players. Be sure also to look for photo opportunities during the pre-game and post-game periods.

Above: NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon taking a selfie with fan at Phoenix International Raceway Below: Notre Dame University fans at Prudential Center NCAA basketball game vs Seton Hall University

Photos: Warren Rosenberg

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The Coaches Corner

Why Stretching Before Exercise May Be Harming Your Performance

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or decades, stretching was one of the golden rules of exercise. Depending on the sport or activity one would “warm up” their designated muscle group in a series of pulling motions for short periods of time. Recent studies, however, suggest the traditional method of “static stretching” as the sole source of exercise may actually be harmful to one’s workout. Why? Static stretching is the traditional form of stretching in which you go through a series of pulling motions to engage and warm up a muscle or group of muscles, to improve flexibility and elongate muscles. In endurance workouts such as running, cycling, or any other prolonged cardiovascular exercise, static stretching an elongated muscle can contribute to greater endurance. Following a strength training workout, it is also important to incorporate post work-out static stretching to maintain flexibility and stretch the muscles. Dynamic stretching is an active form of stretching in which you bring blood and warmth to muscles while going through related motions similar to those of the

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Thomas Chin actual sport or activity. Examples of dynamic stretching include doing similar body movements such as lunges and bodyweight squats prior to sprinting or doing pushups prior to a chest workout. Health and Fitness studies at Boston University noted that while static stretching improves flexibility, it actually takes blood out of the muscle and thus makes the muscle and joints cold, in turn leaving athletes prone to muscle and tendon injury. A study done by the School of Kinesiology at the University of Zagreb in Croatia looked at over 100 subjects, and found that static stretching reduced muscular strength by 5.5%, muscular power by 2%, and explosive muscular performance by 3%. Ultimately, the researchers concluded that “…the usage of SS (static stretching) as the sole activity during warm-up routine should generally be avoided.” This study was then published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research and later backed by the American College of Sports Medicine, which concluded that static stretching may in fact lead to muscles and tendon damage.

With new cautionary arguments against static stretching, is it unfair to completely abandon the practice? Perhaps not. With everyone having certain health and fitness goals, it’s imperative to wisely plan your exercise routines the right way. Be it the static or dynamic method, the end result must focus on maintaining muscle and joint health, devoid of avoidable injury. Depending on your sport or activity stay wise to appropriate stretching and warm up methods for an invigorating workout! Sources Barlow, Rich. “Stretch Before Exercise? Not So Fast. | BU Today | Boston University.” BU Today RSS. Boston University, 9 Feb. 2015. Web. 27 Jan. 2016. Mercola, Dr. “Reasons to Give Up Your Pre-Workout Static Stretching.”Mercola.com. N.p., 19 Apr. 2013. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.


MetroSports Athlete of the Month MetroSports Athlete of the Month I’m A Gangster Too Putting on a great show at the January 2016 PRB Built Ford Tough Series event at Madison Square Garden, three time PBR Finals bull, ‘I’m A Gangster Too’ is selected as MetroSports Magazine’s March 2016 Athlete of the Month. This 1500 lb athlete is the son of the late ‘I’m A Gangster’, who passed away in 2014 having been ridden only three times in his professional career.

MetroSports Athlete of the Month Shorty Gorham For risking life and limb to keep the riders safe at PBR events across the country, MetroSports Magazine names bullfighter Shorty Gorham as Athlete of the Month for April 2016. The 5’ 10”, 175 lb bullfighter is in his 17th season and has gone head-tohead, literally, with some of the meanest bulls on the planet. Shorty has appeared on NBC’s ‘America’s Toughest Jobs’ and in 2009 worked with the late NFL linebacker, Junior Seau, on the VERSUS network’s show, ‘Sports Jobs with Junior Seau’.

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Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2016 Students in Professor Michael Ryan’s class at The College of Westchester in White Plains, N.Y. have worked their post-processing magic to prepare these submissions for the 2016 Red Bull Illume Image Quest contest in the “Enhance” category. Red Bull’s Illume Image Quest promotes itself as “the world’s greatest international photography contest dedicated to action and adventure sports. It showcases the most creative and captivating photography on the planet as art and aims to bring the public closer to the world of action sports.” The contest will be judged by a panel of 50 photo editors selecting winners in 11 Categories along with one Overall Winner, unveiled at the Red Bull Illume Winner Award Ceremony, which will be held on September 28th, 2016 in Chicago, USA. All finalist images then travel across the world as part of a unique nighttime photo exhibition. Competition entries close on March 31, 2016. 42 | March - April 2016


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