3 October 2018
In a press release USRowing has announced that Clark Dean and Francesca Raggi have been selected as the inaugural winners of the USRowing Under 19 Male and Female Athletes of the Year, respectively.
Selected by the athletes and coaches of the team that competed at the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships in Racice, Czech Republic, Clark Dean and Francesca Raggi will be honored at the 2018 Golden Oars Gala on Thursday, 15 November, at the New York Athletic Club’s Manhattan location.
Dean, who last year became the first U.S. junior men’s single sculler to win the event in 50 years, repeated as world champion in 2018, setting a junior world’s best time in both his heat and semifinal before going on to easily win the final. Earlier in the year, the Sarasota, Florida, native won the men’s eight with Sarasota Crew at the 2018 USRowing Youth National Championships.
‘It’s definitely a unique feeling to be recognized by my peers as opposed to superiors,’ said Dean upon notification of his recognition. ‘I’m really grateful I’ve been able to spend these three years as a part of such a great and supportive team, and I’m going to miss it.’
Dean is a three-time medalist at the World Rowing Junior Championships, having also won bronze in the quadruple sculls in 2016. He just started his freshman year at Harvard University.
Raggi sat six-seat in the junior women’s eight in Racice, winning the silver medal. The Maitland, Florida., native is a two-time Under 19 National Team member, having also raced in the eight in 2017.
‘I am so grateful for my coaches and teammates throughout my junior rowing career that nominated me for this award and believed that I suited this title,’ Raggi said. ‘They have shaped me into the athlete and competitor I am today, and I couldn’t thank them enough.’
Rowing for Winter Park High School, Raggi won a silver medal in the varsity eight at the 2018 Scholastic Rowing Association of America (SRAA) National Championships in May. She recently started her freshman year at the University of Texas.
In addition to the U19 Athletes of the Year, the 2018 Golden Oars Gala will honor the under 23 and senior national team athletes of the year, which will be announced later this week, as well as the 2018 USRowing Medal of Honor recipient, David Grant. The event also serves as a chance to support the U.S. national teams’ efforts through the annual silent auction, live auction and ‘raise your paddle’ portion of the evening. Tickets are on sale now and sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting the National Rowing Foundation’s Tracy Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.