Pac-12 announces men's and women's rowing all-conference honors and annual awards

SAN FRANCISCO — CALIFORNIA junior Kendall Chase was named the 2015 Pac-12 Women’s Rowing Athlete of the Year as fellow Golden Bear Mia Croonquist was tabbed Women’s Rowing Newcomer of the Year. Completing the California sweep, head coach Al Acosta earned Women’s Rowing Coach of the Year honors. On the men’s side, California sophomore Justin Murphy garnered Men’s Rowing Athlete of the Year laurels, OREGON STATE freshman Jesse Maritz received Men’s Rowing Newcomer of the Year honors, and WASHINGTON head coach Michael Callahan was named Men’s Rowing Coach of the Year for the sixth-consecutive season. 
 
The Athlete of the Year and Newcomer of the Year awards are voted on and nominated by the Conference’s coaches. Candidates for Athlete of the Year must have participated in the varsity eight race at the Pac-12 Championships.
 
Chase, a native of Evergreen, Colo., has been a part of the Golden Bears’ undefeated varsity eight all season and has been competing in the team’s top boat since her freshman year. She captured two gold medals in the 2014 Women’s World Rowing Under-23 Championships in Varese, Italy, serving in the seven-seat of the United States women’s eight and in the bow-seat in the United States women’s four. Chase is a leader on the second ranked Cal crew and holds a 3.4 grade point average. She plans to attend medical school after graduation. 
 
Croonquist, a freshman out of Vashon, Wash., has rowed at the five-seat of the Golden Bears’ undefeated varsity eight throughout her first season on the team. She was also elected as one of the Bears’ four team captains by the freshman class. 
 
California’s Al Acosta earned Pac-12 Women’s Coach of the Year honors in his first year as head coach of the Golden Bears. He guided California to a Pac-12 Championship and has the team ranked No. 2 in the nation going into NCAA Championships. Acosta is a Cal graduate himself and was named National Coach of the Year five times while leading the STANFORD women’s lightweight team. Acosta started the Stanford lightweight program in 2001 and guided the Cardinal for 13 consecutive years, including four straight IRA national titles from 2010-13 before the school posted a runner-up finish in 2014.
 
California sophomore Justin Murphy has earned Men’s Rowing Athlete of the Year honors for the 2015 season, after earning Newcomer of the Year honors in 2014. The Montclair, N.J. native has been an integral part of the No. 2 team in the nation and specifically the varsity eight this past year.  After a solid freshmen year, Murphy competed for the USA under-23 team, stroking the four to a 6th place finish. Murphy is currently in the six-seat of the Golden Bears’ varsity eight and is positioned to make that next step up to the USA Senior team this summer.

Coming from Everett, Wash., Oregon State freshman Jesse Maritz made an immediate impact on Beaver crew. He posted one of the top scores on the erg in school history for a freshman, then slotted into the varsity eight and made the boat faster. Maritz plans to study chemistry at Oregon State. 
 
Washington’s Michael Callahan has earned top coaching honors in Men’s Rowing for the sixth year in a row as the Huskies were crowned Pac-12 Champions for the sixth-straight season. Overall, Washington has won 38 Conference titles. Callahan, in his eighth year at the helm of Washington’s storied program, has led the team to four straight national titles. The Huskies swept all five races at Pac-12 Championships and will enter IRA National Championships as the nation’s top-ranked squad. Washington is looking to win another national championship this weekend in Lake Mercer, N.J.
 
By claiming the varsity eight competitions at the Pac-12 Championships, the Washington men and California women headline the 2015 Pac-12 Rowing All-Conference teams, which were also announced by the Conference office Thursday.
 
Members of the All-Conference rowing teams are based upon each institution’s finish in the varsity eight race at the Pac-12 Championships, which were held May 17 on Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif. The conference champion provides four members of the All-Conference team, the second-place crew provides three members, and the third-place finisher provides two. All other participating crews receive one selection each.
 
MEN’S ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
Marcus Bowyer, Washington*
Richard Hansen, Colorado
Eric Ledbetter, Washington
Martin Mackovic, California
Henry Meek, Washington
Justin Murphy, California
Alexander Perkins, Washington
Scott Roycroft, Stanford
Kaess Smit, Stanford**
Max Vaughn, Washington State
Bobby Vernazza, Oregon State
Natan Wegrzycki-Szymczyk, California

WOMEN’S ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
Mickey Aylard, Washington State
Kendall Chase, California
Alix Chrumka, Stanford
Naomi Cornman, Stanford
Sarah Dougherty, Washington
Jacinta Edmunds, California
Fiona Gammond, Washington
Lindsay Meltz, California
Ingvild Roenningan, California
Lauren Still, Oregon State
Cathy Stolitzka, UCLA
Katie Toothman, Stanford*
Elizabeth Turner, USC

 
* Second career All-Conference selection
** Third career All-Conference selection

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