USRowing Announces 2017 Fan’s Choice Award Winners

PRINCETON, N.J. – 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 recognize 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 the 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, Nov. 15, 2017, 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 gold medals 2016 and 2017. She was also a member of the U.S. Under 19 National Team for the last three years, winning a gold medal her novice year (2015) and then bronze medals 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, Calif., where he completed the SOAS (SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection) program.

Masters Athlete of the Year

Simon Borchelt, Texas Rowing Center

Simon Borchelt has been a masters rower at Texas Rowing Center since 2012. He learned to scull early in life from his father, Mark, who was a member of the 1976 and 1980 U.S. Olympic Teams and was voted USRowing Fan’s Choice Masters Coach of the Year in 2015. 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 fifteen of sixteen 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 women’s double sculls at the World Rowing 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 Tomek, had to manage a difficult injury throughout training and racing this 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 Regatta, overall club points trophy for the fourth-consecutive year; Derby Sweeps and Sculls, 14 gold medals; Head of the Housatonic, gold medals in the men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, lightweight women’s single, and women’s eight; Head of the Fish, gold in the women’s single, lightweight double, and quad. At each of these events, there were multiple second- and third-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.

Click here for ticket and event information. If you are interested in placing a half-page or full-page tribute ad in the Golden Oars Awards program in honor of a Fan’s Choice Award winner, please contact Tracy Brown.

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