Kansas Rowing Announces Yearly Awards at Team Banquet

LAWRENCE, Kan. – One day removed from competing in the 2023 Big 12 Championships, the Kansas Rowing team celebrated the 2022-23 season with the program’s annual banquet, held Monday in the Burge Union on the KU campus.

Head Coach Carrie Cook-Callen opened the program with a welcome and opening comments before lunch was served. Following the meal, a highlight video was shown, and Academic Advisor Laura Jacobsen took to the stage to highlight the program’s academic achievements.

Cook-Callen and Jacobsen both presented a special recognition to the senior class. The 2023 senior class which was honored included Kai Alexander, Karlie Brewer, Loretta Brueckner, Danielle Brunig, Amanda Ferguson, Amber Haden, Jadyn Jay, Ty Kelly-Martin, Shay Pemberton, Savanah Skack, Grace Wallrapp and Stella Warren.

Next up was remarks from Coach Madison Hovis, who then began presenting participation and letter awards, before moving on to the team awards. The two major awards given out on the day were Oarswomen of the Year and Coxswain of the Year. This duo will be forever enshrined on the award winners wall in the Kansas Boathouse for their consistent growth and competitive excellence. Earning Oarswoman of the Year was Katia Ustiuzhanina, a freshman from Kyiv, Ukraine, while Audrey Owens, a sophomore from Edmond, Oklahoma, was named Coxswain of the Year. Ustiuzhanina is a 2023 All-Big 12 selection as chosen by the league coaches.

"This summer we’ll need those donning the crimson and blue to be getting ready, closing gaps, getting stronger, improving flexibility, working technically, and getting mentally stronger. Some of them will be here in Lawrence and others will be sprinkled across the U.S. and even across the globe in some circumstances. Wherever they are, they have a great network of people at KU who support them. Thank you for being here today to celebrate the year with us and for supporting Kansas Rowing. Rock Chalk!"

Kansas Coach Carrie Cook-Callen

A full list of award winners from Monday’s banquet is below:

Oarswoman of the Year – Katia Ustiuzhanina (Kyiv, Ukraine)
Coxswain of the Year – Audrey Owens (Edmond, Okla.)
Class of 2020 Award – Shay Pemberton (Overland Park, Kan.)
Outstanding Freshman – Alaina Ronning (Manchester, Mo.)
Outstanding Newcomer – Sarah Sutton (Dumfries, Va.) & Emma Wistuba (St. Louis, Mo.)
Most Improved Oarswoman – Ava Black (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Most Improved Novice/Freshman – Aylin Schafer (Winter Park, Fla.)
Senior Award: Essence of a Jayhawk – Lucy Kemna (Jacksonville, Fla.)
5k & 2k Hammers – Laura Teska (Lawrence, Kan.) & Katia Ustiuzhanina (Kyiv, Ukraine)