The "2017 Male and Female Athletes of the Year" were announced at the May 8th, 2018 Opening Ceremonies!
2017 Female Athlete of the Year Rowan Phlieger - Archery
Rowan Phlieger is a 16 year-old archer who has dedicated herself to the sport 3 years competitively, and 8 years total. Archery is her passion, although some may call it her obsession. Rowan started competing in the New Mexico Games in the fourth grade, when she was 9 years old. She has taken first place in every New Mexico Games since.
Rowan also competes in state and local tournaments and has been the state champion (indoors and outdoors), for the past 7 consecutive years and has 5 state records. She has competed in international tournaments and in 2017 made the Junior DreamTeam for archery. This has allowed her the opportunity to train at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center, up to 6 times a year.
Her ultimate goal is to go to the Olympics someday, and she truly thinks that if she believes in herself, she can accomplish anything.
2017 Male Athlete of the Year Joey Lucero - Swimmer
Joey Lucero has been around swimming from the time he was born. His two older brothers, Robert and Jeff, were both competitive swimmers. He grew up with the swim team as his extended family and it seemed natural that he would eventually become a swimmer.
He joined the team when he was nine and truly enjoys the competition. One of the highlights of every season has always been the New Mexico Games. It is a wonderful experience to compete on the same relay as the coaches and parents. He has received numerous medals, but the real highlight is the event itself.
Two weeks prior to the 2017 New Mexico Games, Joey dislocated his shoulder and was not able to practice for several days. Of course he was devastated and concerned that he would let his team down. Fortunately his shoulder healed to the point where he could compete. He placed 3rd in the 50 yard butterfly for the 15 to 18 year age group and was on two winning relays.
Follow the New Mexico Games during the year on social media with the hashtag: #NMgames