Rowing Announces Team Awards

May 19, 2013

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Following Kansas’ impressive showing in the Conference USA Rowing Championships, the Jayhawks held their annual team awards presentation prior to leaving Tennessee. Nine awards were given to team members for both academic success and performance on the water throughout the season.

Oarswoman of the Year: Olivia Kinet
Kinet has rowed on the Kansas First Varsity Eight since her sophomore year. This year the KU 1V8’s season was highlighted by placing fourth in the Grand Final at the Conference USA Championships and defeating Kansas State at the Oklahoma Invite. Kinet was named to the All-Big 12 First Team and All-Conference USA First Team in 2012 and 2013.

“Olivia has done a good job of rising to the top level of the team,” said KU head coach Rob Catloth. “She has been on the 1V8 since her sophomore year and she has improved every year. In the boat she has been a leader and has made technical improvements to make herself better.”

Nikia Rosenberger Outstanding Coxswain: Olivia Catloth
Catloth joined the 1V8 as coxswain midway through the 2012 season and was instrumental in the strong finish the boat had in 2013. The coaching staff also credits Catloth with setting the tone for the 2V8 in the early part of 2012, which in turn set the stage for successful 2V8 performances in 2012 and 2013.

“You want your varsity coxswain to be on task,” Rob Catloth said of his daughter. “A top coxswain has to be pushing the rowers and be demanding, but at the same time they have to work with the rowers and be a good teammate. She has done a really good job with that balance.”

Most Improved Oarswoman: Claudijah Lever
Lever started the year with up and down individual performances, but during the spring season she solidified a spot for herself on KU’s Second Varsity Eight. The Jayhawk 2V8 won six-consecutive races during one stretch this spring. The 2V8 finished second at the Big 12 Championships and third at the Conference USA Championships.

“I can’t stress how impressed I am with Claudi this year,” said Catloth. “Over winter break she worked really hard on her own. It’s a testament to what an individual can do. She had a goal of getting on a boat and quickly raised her performance and never backed off.”

Essence of a Jayhawk: Laura Benz
Benz rowed for most of the season with the 1V8 including the championship events. She rowed for the 2V8 in the win over Kansas State at the Oklahoma Invite.

The “Essence of a Jayhawk” award is voted on by the senior class. The seniors vote for the rower that best exemplifies what it means to be a Jayhawk rower.

Outstanding Newcomer: Alexandra Torquemada
Torquemada joined the Jayhawks as a transfer from Humboldt State in California, where she was a member of the 1V8 crew that won the national title in 2012. The 1V8 win helped propel the Lumberjacks to the top of the team standings at the 2012 Division II National Championships.

At KU, Torquemada rowed on the 1V8.

“Alex was a big factor in our team getting better,” said Catloth. “She had great credentials coming in, but did not rest on her laurels. She improved herself and was a leader. She has been a strong team member and helped solidify how strong the stern was in the 1V8.”

Outstanding Freshman: Maggie Duncan
Duncan was a part of 2V8 victories at the Oklahoma Invite before rowing her way onto the 1V8 for the final seven events of the year, including the Big 12 and Conference USA Championships.

Most Improved Newcomer: Tess Scott
Scott was a member of the Third Varsity Eight that finished fourth at the Big 12 Championships and a member of the Novice Eight that finished third at the Conference USA Championships. Other highlights for Scott include being part of the Second Novice Eight that defeated Duke and Notre Dame at the Louisville Invite and rowing for the Novice Eight that defeated Kansas State at the Sunflower Showdown.

“Class of 2000” Team Academic Award: Liz Scherer and Caty Clements
Scherer has a 3.96 cumulative GPA and is an exercise science major and was presented with the Big 12’s Scholar Athlete of the Year award for rowing earlier this year. Scherer has also been recognized this year as an Academic All-Big 12 First Team member, Conference USA All-Academic performer and Conference USA Commissioners Academic medal award winner. In four out of her five collegiate semesters, Scherer has had a 4.0 GPA.

Clements has a cumulative 3.92 GPA and has had four consecutive semesters with a 4.0 GPA. The accounting major was previously recognized by the Big 12 by being named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team. Clements also received the Conference USA Commissioners Academic medal.

The Class of 2000 Academic Award was created by the coaching staff to honor rowers who have consistently achieved academic excellence. The award recalls the senior class of 2000 because of their commitment to and attainment of excellence throughout their careers both in the classroom and on the water.

Senior Academic Achievement: Emily Starr
Heading into her final semester, Starr has a cumulative GPA of 3.41. The exercise science/pre-nursing major was named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team in 2013. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.