CRCA Doles Out Honors to Washington State

May 22, 2006

PULLMAN, Wash. - The Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association honored Washington State's women's rowing team with a variety of regional awards, Monday.

The CRCA placed five Cougars on its all-West Region teams, a WSU record. Additionally, WSU Head Coach Jane LaRiviere was named West Region Coach of the Year.

Senior Jody Thomas and junior Sarah Waterfield both stroked their way onto the West Region first team, while seniors Kasia Bloch and Laura Griffin, and sophomore coxswain Kelly O'Brien garnered spots on the second team.

It is the third consecutive all-region award for Jody Thomas, who was on the first team in 2005, and the second in 2004. Thomas was also named to the All-America second team in 2005.

'From the very beginning the athletes have driven the team and I've just been trying to stay out of their way,' LaRiviere said. 'I'm honored, I've never gotten an award before. It's exciting, but really it should be an athlete award.'

At this year's Pacific-10 Conference Championships, LaRivere's team garnered a second place overall finish, highlighted by a silver medal for the varsity eight, tying the best finish at Pac-10's in the boat's history. LaRiviere also coached the varsity eight to seven first-place finishes in nine competitions this spring, including the crew's first and second spring victories over in-state rival and traditional rowing powerhouse Washington.

LaRiviere becomes the second Cougar coach to win the West Regional Coach of the Year Award. Former WSU rowing coach Tammy Crawford won the award in 2001 and in 2002.

The CRCA also announced its 2006 National Scholar Athletes, which include three WSU rowers. Seniors Bloch and Griffin and redshirt-sophomore Tiana Rodriquez were all honored with the award.

'That's a big honor, because they are student-athletes,' LaRiviere said. 'It's great to be successful in the classroom.'

The team, led by its third-ranked varsity eight, will compete at the NCAA Championships in West Windsor, N.J., May 26-28.
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