2017 Fan's Choice Awards
Vote for the 2017 National Team Athlete of the Year
USRowing maintains a long tradition of rewarding excellence in rowing. Following a year of unprecedented achievement, the rowing community put forth strong nominees for the 2017 USRowing Fan’s Choice Awards. After receiving an outpouring of nominations in all categories, USRowing is proud to announce the 2017 national team athlete finalists.
Fans may vote once in each category. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. E.T. on Tuesday, October 24. Awardees will be announced on Wednesday, October 25.
Who can become Athlete of the Year? A male or female rower or coxswain who has achieved extraordinary success in 2017. Success may be defined as an outstanding performance, having a breakout year, perseverance in spite of difficult odds, consistently strong performance, outstanding service off the water, or a combination of the above or other worthy measures.
About the Finalists:
Dariush “Tim” Aghai, USRowing Training Center
In his fourth national team appearance, Tim helped bring the U.S. men’s eight to a silver-medal finish at the 2017 World Rowing Championships. Tim graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012, where he rowed in the varsity eight. According to his peers, Tim has been voted “best forehead” and “most knowledgable about microbiology.”
Nicholas Mead, USRowing Training Center
Nicholas Mead has represented the U.S. in the men’s eight at three levels of international competition, Under 19, Under 23 and Senior. Most recently, Nicholas raced to a silver-medal finish with the men’s eight at the 2017 World Rowing Championship, and was the youngest member of the crew. At Princeton, Nicholas was the captain of the heavyweight crew from 2016-2017 and earned All-IRA Academic Honors.
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. Additionally, she not only served as an athlete representative to the USRowing board, 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.
Yohann Rigogne, Vesper Boat Club
Yohann has been rowing for Vesper Boat Club for six years and has been a member of the U.S. National Team since 2014. In 2017, Yohann earned a spot in the men’s eight and raced to a silver-medal finish at the world championships. Yohann’s represented the U.S. as the oldest member of the men’s eight.
Emily Schmieg, Potomac Boat Club
Hailing from Philadelphia and training in Washington D.C., University of Pittsburgh graduate Emily Schmieg earned her second-consecutive spot on a senior national team in 2017, where she went on to finish third in the lightweight women’s double sculls at the world championships. In 2016, she finished fifth in the lightweight quadruple sculls at worlds.
Award voting is intended to be one vote per person from among the extended rowing community and their family and friends; in the event of electronic, hired, or other similar ballot-stuffing attempts, affected votes may be deleted and nominees potentially disqualified.