May 22, 2012
BERKELEY -NCAA Championships Central
Two weeks after leading the California women's rowing team to its fifth straight Pac-12 title, head coach Dave O'Neill was named the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association's West Regional Head Coach of the Year on Tuesday for the third straight time. In addition, first-year assistant coach Lincoln LaRoe was tabbed the West Region Assistant Coach of the Year, five Golden Bears were named to the CRCA all-region team and two Bears were named Division I Scholar Athletes.
Elise Etem, Paparangi Hipango, Michelle Leason and Rachel Ersted were named to the CRCA All West Region first team, while Agatha Nowinski was selected to the second team. This is the second straight year that Etem was selected to the team. She made the second team in 2011.
These awards recognize the outstanding performances of rowers and coxswains. Nominated student-athletes are evaluated on the strength of their team's regional finish, coaches recommendations and 2,000-meter erg score. Nominees must be eligible student-athletes who have competed in their teams' varsity boat in 75 percent of races this season. These athletes will be eligible for All-America awards selection following the NCAA Rowing Championships.
Ersted picked up a second regional honor, as she and Maggie Simpson were selected as Cal's CRCA Scholar Athletes. Simpson also garnered this recognition last year, as well. Criteria for the scholar-athlete award including maintaining a 3.5 grade point average or higher for a student-athlete's career (through the fall semester/quarter for the current competition year).
The top-ranked Bears are preparing for the 2012 NCAA Championships from May 25-27 in West Windsor, N.J. Cal has not lost a single race since April 15, coming off of sweeps over Washington, Stanford and the conference regatta.