28 October 2017
In a press release, USRowing announces which rowers are receiving the organisation’s Fan Choice Awards for 2017.
To excel in the sport of rowing at any level, athletes must possess dedication, strength and a willingness to push themselves physically and mentally further than ever imagined. The nominees for the USRowing Fan’s Choice Awards have all proven to be shining examples of commitment, hard work and dedication. USRowing is honored to recognise the 2017 USRowing Fan’s Choice Award winners, including four athletes and three coaches who have been crowned by their peers.
The USRowing Fan’s Choice Awards embody excellence in rowing by showcasing top performances over the current year. The seven winners were nominated and voted for based on their contributions to the sport and achievements on the water.
‘A huge congratulations to our 2017 winners of the Fan’s Choice Awards! Your efforts have been recognized by countless individuals who thought enough of your accomplishments to nominate and vote for each one of you,’ said Patrick McNerney, USRowing Chief Executive Officer. ‘Each nominee and finalist contributes to the incredible inspiration of the rowing community. I think it speaks to a wonderful year to have yet another record-breaking nomination and voting turnout. We look forward to honoring these well-deserved winners and their accomplishments at Golden Oars.’
The following winners will be honored at the seventh-annual Golden Oars Awards Dinner on Wednesday, November 15 at the New York Athletic Club in New York City:
Junior Athlete of the Year
Kaitlyn Kynast (Connecticut Boat Club)
Kaitlyn was captain of the team the last two of her three years rowing with CBC. All three years, she has competed at nationals, winning a gold medal 2016 and 2017. She was also a member of the Under-19 National Team for the last three years, winning a gold medal her novice year (2015) and then a bronze in 2016 and 2017. Off the water, Kaitlyn earned a first-place hammer at the 2017 C.R.A.S.H.-B.s.
Collegiate Athlete of the Year
Austin Treubert (United States Naval Academy)
Austin has rowed in the Navy lightweight varsity eight for the past three years. He represented the U.S. at the 2017 World Rowing Under-23 Championships in the lightweight four and went on to win a silver medal. Immediately after coming home from the world championships in Bulgaria, he flew to Coronado, California, where he completed the SOAS (SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection) program.
Masters Athlete of the Year
Simon Borchelt (Texas Rowing Center)
Simon has been a masters rower at Texas Rowing Center for the past five years, having learned to row in 2012. In 2017, Simon won six gold medals at USRowing Masters Nationals to lead the Texas Rowing Center to winning the first ever Club Points Trophy. An accomplished sculler and sweeper, Simon stroked three winning quads, stroked a winning eight, and rowed in two winning doubles at Masters Nationals. In addition, Simon won both of his events (B double and C double) at the prestigious Henley Masters Regatta in England in July, as well as three Texas State Rowing Championships in April. Overall, Simon’s boats won 15 of 16 races this spring and summer in state, national, and international competitions (his boat placed second in the one other race).
National Team Athlete of the Year
Meghan O’Leary (New York Athletic Club)
Five-time national team member and 2016 Olympian, Meghan started rowing as a masters rower at a ‘learn to row’ in 2010. In 2017, she earned a silver medal in the W2x at the World Championships, the highest finish ever for the U.S. in the event. Additionally, she not only served as an athlete representative to the USRowing Board of Directors, she stepped in as interim president during a time of intense work by the board and a difficult transition year for the organization. Lastly, her boatmate, Ellen, had to manage a difficult injury, which created problems with training and racing for the summer. They overcame all of this to earn their silver medal this year at the world championships.
Junior Coach of the Year
Oksana Tsimbalova (Advanced Community Rowing Association)
Oksana is the head women’s and men’s varsity coach and founder of ACRA. She is a volunteer coach for the non-profit. The mission of ACRA is to teach underprivileged middle schoolers and high schoolers in southern New York and northern New Jersey how to row. She has transformed the team into an elite club, racing at youth nationals and guaranteeing bids to the Head of the Charles regatta. She has mentored many from middle school all the way through recruitment in top collegiate rowing programs.
Collegiate Coach of the Year
Paul Savell (Drexel University)
Paul has been the head coach and varsity men’s and women’s coach of the Drexel University rowing teams for 11 years. In its most recent season, the Drexel women’s team won the GW invite, placed at an all-time high at the Eastern Sprints and swept the Dad Vail Regatta in the eights. At the Dad Vail Regatta, Paul coached the women’s varsity eight to the first gold in this category for the team. On the men’s side, Paul coached the varsity eight to its first Dad Vail gold in three years. With his coaching, the men’s varsity eight finished at an all-time best at IRAs, leading them to strongest season ending ranking the program has seen. As a collective, the Drexel dragons won the Dad Vail overall points trophy for the fifth year in a row in the 2017 season.
Masters Coach of the Year
Anna Cherednikova (Maritime Rowing Club)
Results speak louder than words when it comes to coach Anna Cherednikova – Carnegie Lake 2017, club win, third year in a row (a first); Derby Sweeps and Sculls, 14 gold medals; Head of the Housatonic, gold medals in M1X, W1x, W lightweight 1X, W8+, M2x and W2x. Head of the Fish, gold in W1x, lightweight 2X, 4x. At each of these events, there were multiple 2nd and 3rd place boat finishes as well. Nearly everyone comes home from one of Anna’s races with at least one medal, in large part due to her phenomenal coaching. In addition to her success with masters, it’s worth noting that Anna coaches junior girls, and accompanied Claire Campbell to worlds this year after Claire won Junior National 1x.
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