Katia Ustiuzhanina Named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year
IRVING, Texas – For the second consecutive season, Kansas Rowing had a student-athlete earn specialty honors from the Big 12 as freshman Katia Ustiuzhanina was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. The conference announced postseason rowing specialty awards on Wednesday afternoon.
A redshirt freshman from Kyiv, Ukraine, Ustiuzhanina joined the Kansas Rowing program in January and quickly made an impact. Less than two weeks into her tenure at Kansas, she popped a 5k time that landed her second on KU’s all-time list. By March, she set the program-record for the fastest raw 2k. She earned her spot on the First Varsity Eight and has elevated the women in the other varsity boats with her presence.
"We are elated that our fellow coaches can see what a great addition Katia is to the Jayhawks and our conference. Not only is Katia getting better, but she is pushing the women on her team as well. We look forward to what she and her teammates can accomplish moving forward."Kansas Coach Carrie Cook-Callen
Earlier this week, Ustiuzhanina was named to the All-Big 12 team following her first competition at the Big 12 Rowing Championship, which was held May 14 in Austin, Texas. The following day, she earned KU’s top team honor as Oarswoman of the Year, while also taking home a 2k hammer during Kansas Rowing’s annual banquet and season celebration.
Ustiuzhanina becomes the second Kansas Rower to be named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, joining teammate Melia Martin, who was Co-Newcomer of the Year last season.