Cafaro Named 2009 USRowing Athlete of the Year

Oct. 22, 2009

BERKELEY - Former California women's rower Erin Cafaro has been named USRowing's 2009 Athlete of the Year, the organization announced on Thursday.

Cafaro, who graduated in 2006, was a five-time national team member and 2008 Olympic gold medalist in the women's eight. She won gold medals in both the pair and eight at the 2009 World Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland. Cafaro, a native of Modesto, Calif., and boatmate Susan Francia (Abington, Pa.) became the first U.S. women's pair in history to win the world title. Cafaro also won gold in the eight at the 2009 Rowing World Cup race in Lucerne, Switzerland. Domestically, she won the pair at the 2009 World Championships Trials and both USRowing National Selection Regattas. She also won gold in the eight at the 2009 USRowing National Championships.

'It's the greatest honor you can receive because it is voted on by your teammates. It's especially gratifying this year when so many people stepped up and performed well,' Cafaro said. 'I'm very honored and thankful for all my teammates and coaches. I couldn't have gotten anywhere without them.'

During her time at Cal, Cafaro was a key member of Cal's 2005 and 2006 NCAA championship teams.

Cafaro and the male USRowing Athlete of the Year, David Banks of Potomac, Md., will be honored on Friday, Dec. 4, at the USRowing Annual Awards Reception in Tempe, Ariz.

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