Individual Awards Announced for 2009 Pac-10 Rowing

June 3, 2009

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WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Individual awards from the Conference office are selected annually in six classifications: men's rowing Coach of the Year, women's rowing Coach of the Year, men's rowing Athlete of the Year, women's rowing Athlete of the Year, men's rowing Newcomer of the Year, and women's rowing Newcomer of the Year. The Athlete of the Year awards are given to the top vote-getters based upon coaches' nominations of student-athletes who participated in the Varsity Eight race at the Pac-10 Championships. The Newcomers of the Year are awarded to the coaches' nominees from the institutions that won the men's and women's team championships. The following honorees were announced today by Commissioner Tom Hansen.

Men's Coach of the Year - Craig Amerkhanian, STAN: During his nine-season tenure as Stanford's Director of Rowing and Men's Head Coach, Cardinal Crew has evolved into a complete and powerful rowing program under Amerkhanian's leadership. At this year's Pac-10 Championships, Stanford's No. 4 men's first varsity eight was part of the lead pack alongside No. 1 Washington and California in its Grand Final, running third for much of the course before a strong finishing kick overtook the Huskies and fell just three-tenths of a second short of nipping the Golden Bears for gold. The second varsity eight and the freshmen eight each brought home the bronze in its grand finals as the men took third place in the final team standings for the third year in a row. Stanford men have been dominant fixtures on the U.S. Under-23 team, on which Alex Osborne and Silas Stafford won gold last summer at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Brandenburg, Germany. Furthermore, Adam Kreek, Jamie Schroeder, and David Banks rowed in the Beijing Olympics last summer, where Kreek won gold as a member of the Canadian men's eight boat.

Women's Coach of the Year - Emily Ford, OSU: Concluding her third season at the helm of Oregon State women's rowing, Ford pushed her program to earn its first NCAA Championship berth since 2000. Ford has brought growth and success to the program, especially amongst her varsity eight crews, who finished the 2009 season ranked No. 11 in the nation. Since the start of the season that saw the Beavers sweep the University of Victoria in the cold waters of Elk Lake in British Columbia, Oregon State gained speed as lineups solidified. The varsity eight and novice eight boats each finished third at the 2009 Pac-10 Championships, while all four of OSU's boats muscled strong races that pushed the Beavers to a fourth place standing overall. The bronze medal finish for the varsity eight is the highest finish for the Beavers since the 2000 season when the varsity boat also finished third and qualified to the NCAA Championships.

Men's Athlete of the Year - Alex Osborne, STAN: A senior from Sherman Oaks, Calif., Osborne wrapped up his Conference rowing career with a silver medal in the varsity eights at last month's Pac-10 Championships, coming in just three-tenths of a second behind California. The 2009 season saw Osborne's boat lead a Stanford sweep over Oregon State in all three race classes at the Stanford Invitational. That same weekend, Osborne's first varsity eight claimed a victory over then-No. 3 Washington and took defending national champion Wisconsin to the wire, being edged out by a mere 0.32 of a second. Despite eventually falling to the Golden Bears in the finals at the San Diego Crew Classic, the Cardinal crew defeated California in a heat the day before. On the international stage, Osborne won a gold medal in the men's eights for the U.S. at the 2008 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Brandenburg, Germany. Early in his collegiate career, he claimed a national championship in the freshman four (2006) and was heralded by Rowing News as a 'Top Twenty Rower[s] Under 20'.

Women's Athlete of the Year - Erika Roddy, STAN: Roddy began stroking the Stanford varsity eight after the Lake Natoma Invitational, held April 18-19, where the Cardinal finished second to California. Known for her reserved nature out of the water but as a tough competitor on the water, Roddy has always been in the top six ergs on the team. Leading by example in practice and boasting a 3.7 grade point average, this sophomore has emerged as the team's quiet leader. As stroke, the San Francisco, Calif., product led the varsity eight to consecutive victories in the Cal Dual and at the Pac-10 Championships in course-record time before capping the season with Stanford's first NCAA Women's Rowing national championship. Despite Roddy's small stature, she was invited to the U.S. Junior Team Camp as a young freshman, rowing 7-seat in the U.S. Eight that won the 2008 World Rowing Junior Championships.

Men's Newcomer of the Year - James Long-Lerno, CAL: Long-Lerno became a key member of Cal's second varsity eight in his inaugural season on the Golden Bears squad. The 6'6' junior rowed in the six seat when that crew took second place in the Pac-10 Championships, and he helped the second varsity eight defeat Stanford in the Big Row. He is expected to row with that crew when it competes at this weekend's IRA Regatta at Lake Natoma. The Seal Beach, Calif., product joined Cal after two years at Orange Coast College. Last season, he stroked the OCC varsity eight to the WIRA championship and a third-place finish at the ECAC National Invitational Rowing Championships. Long-Lerno was named 2008 Oarsman of the Year at the OCC team banquet.

Women's Newcomer of the Year - Kristina Löfman, CAL: An internationally experienced rower, Löfman rowed for California's top boat, the varsity eight, for most of her first year as a Golden Bear. She rowed in the three seat when that boat placed third in the NCAA Women's Rowing Championships and finished second in the Pac-10 Championships, a result good enough to crown California with its fifth Conference title in six years. Rowing for her native Norway, the 5'11' Oslo native took fourth place in doubles sculling in the 2007 Junior World Championships in Beijing and also placed 16th in doubles sculling in the 2006 junior worlds in Amsterdam. She has been the Norwegian champion in doubles sculling, fours sculling, eights and senior fours.

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