Rowing: Honored at Annual Banquet

  • By Tiffany Doolittle
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  • May 11, 2011 01:41 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Several members of the West Virginia University rowing team were recognized at the annual honors banquet on Saturday, May 7, at the Touchdown Terrace in Morgantown, W.Va.

Senior Rachel Viglianco highlighted the awards ceremony as she was recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as an All-American Strength and Conditioning Athlete.

“To be recognized as an All-American Strength & Conditioning Athlete is quite an accolade,” says coach Jimmy King. “Our strength coach, Jerry Handley, continually challenges our rowers, and I'm very pleased that he deemed Rachel's efforts and accomplishments worthy of All-America status.”

The award is given to athletes whose athletic accomplishments reflect their dedication to strength training and conditioning, as well as outstanding academic and personal accomplishments.

Viglianco joins the Mountaineers’ current interim assistant coach and alum Meg Ayers as the only WVU rowers to be recognized for this NSCA award.

“Rachel's hard work in the weight room has been performed diligently and far from the public eye,” adds King. “I'm thrilled that she has been awarded such a high honor.”

Redshirt senior Kate Brownson and graduate Sara Olenich were given the Hammer Awards for having the best 2k ergometer score, while senior Keyera Stevenson and freshman Alea Hipes won the Flame Awards for having the most team spirit and the best work ethic.

The Most Valuable Player Awards were given to senior Shannon Gribbons and freshman Christina Mehrtens, while sophomore Hilary Meale and freshman Mallory Fisher were honored as the Most Improved athletes.

Gribbons was also honored as the Iron Mountaineer for the second year, along with sophomore Rachelle Purych. This award is given annually to the athletes of every team who are considered to be the most all-around conditioned athlete, both physically and mentally.

Nine rowers, including Brownson, Olenich, Stevenson, Viglianco, Anna-Claire Bowers, Anastasia DuPont, Alita Meyers, Caitlin Murphy and Megan Neckelmann won the Senior Blade Award for completing their final year of eligibility during the 2010-11 season.