Bacon, Dubrasich Voted Co-Captains For 2004-2005 Women's Crew

June 3, 2004

CORVALLIS, Ore.- - Seniors Michelle Bacon and Sarah Dubrasich were voted team co-captains for 2004-2005 Wednesday at the women's crew year-end banquet, head coach Charlie Owen announced Thursday. Both athletes will enter their third year of rowing for Oregon State; Dubrasich transferred from Washington after her freshman year, and Bacon sat out her sophomore year with an injury.

'Michelle and Sarah both understand that success is not just handed to you,' Owen said. 'They are blue-collar athletes who have worked hard to get where they are, and I believe that work ethic explains why their teammates chose them to be leaders for next year.'

Owen also announced the 2004 season awards. In an unusual move, Owen awarded Most Outstanding Oarswoman to an entire boat of athletes, the Varsity Four that earned a bronze medal at the Pac-10 Championships.

'The Varsity Four set a great example this spring,' Owen said. 'They made the most out of every practice, and they never gave up on the race course. This boat was never ahead at the 500 (meter mark), and they weren't usually ahead at the thousand. But they believed in themselves and fought back to a lot of wins and a medal at Pac-10s.'

During the season, the four (Lauren Hubner, Nancy Raskauskas, Michelle Bacon, Jen DeVries and Angelique Manning) posted come-from-behind wins over Cal, UCLA, Washington State and Tennessee.

The Suzanne Wilkins Memorial Most Inspirational Award went to Michelle Bacon, who rehabilitated a back injury in the fall and came back to race in the JV8 early in the season and eventually the Varsity Four.

'Every boat that Michelle raced in benefited from her positive attitude and desire to win,' assistant coach Kush de Soyza said. 'On top of that, the diligence that Michelle showed in rehabbing her back was remarkable. Everyone on the team recognizes that Michelle worked extremely hard to get herself ready to race this year, and that drive rubbed off on her boatmates.'

The award for Most Improved Oarswoman went to Sarah Dubrasich, who last spring did not make a racing boat, but this year worked her way from the JV into the Varsity Eight by the end of the racing season.

'When we tapped Sarah for the Varsity Eight this May, we were looking for someone willing to follow the strokeseat, help set a consistent rhythm, and bring some fight to the boat,' de Soyza said. 'That's exactly what we got with Sarah. She had a slow start as a transfer, but last year we challenged her to make herself an athlete we could rely on, and she really came through. We're looking forward to seeing what she brings to the team next year.'

Freshman coach Annie Kakela awarded the Most Outstanding Novice award to freshman rower Elizabeth Eischen, noting that it was difficult to honor one individual among a very strong group of novices who focused on teamwork.

'However, Liz Eischen is definitely a stand out,' Kakela said. 'Liz has developed into an outstanding athlete and oarswoman, and it didn't come easily. Liz is not afraid to work hard and push her limits. She leads the rest of the team through the example she sets. Also, she showed exceptional leadership within her boat, the Novice team, and as a liaison between the Varsity and Novice squads. '

The OSU Women's Rowing team will kick off its 2004-2005 season with the Portland LOOP Regatta, a four-and-a-half mile race at Oaks Park on the Willamette River tentatively scheduled for October 30.

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