IU Rowing Earns National Awards
June 9, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana Rowing head coach Steve Peterson was named 2014 Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association National Coach of the Year, while the entire coaching staff was named National Staff of the Year, announced by the CRCA on Monday, June 9. The CRCA also announced All-America honorees, which included junior Meradith Dickensheets. Dickensheets was named a 2014 Pocock First Team All-American.
"I am completely honored by this award," said Peterson on being named National Coach of the Year. "Obviously a lot goes into a team being successful, so I am not going to say that this award was earned solely by my. I have an amazing coaching staff that has really worked hard this year to get everything we could out of our athletes. On top of that, our support staffs of athletic trainers, strength coaches, academic advisors and the whole compliance office are second to none. We also have a great administration that really do view their jobs as helping to make sure the athletes and coaches have everything they need to succeed both on and off the water. But of course, a coach is nothing without great athletes. In my case we have the best. The whole team really bought into making this program better this year and even during the hard times in winter training, they supported each other and stayed focused on our goals. This award really goes to them and everyone who is affiliated with this program."
The Hoosiers' staff, made up of Peterson, assistant coaches Sheila Rinozzi and Kate Sweeney, volunteer assistant coach Bonnie Chilibeck and Director of Equipment and Operations Stefan Evano, led Indiana to its first NCAA Championships berth where IU finished 11th overall. Indiana spent most the season ranked No. 13 in the CRCA/USRowing Coaches poll and ended the 2014 slate ranked No. 11. The Hoosiers finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships, the program's best finish at the championships. Indiana's Meradith Dickensheets was named First Team All-Big Ten, while Alice Wright and Karly Kikkert were named Second Team All-Big Ten. Wright was also honored as Big Ten Freshman of the Year, the program's first individual league honor. IU's Varsity 8 and Second Varsity 8 medaled in their events at the league championships for the first time in program history.
"There really isn't really too much I can say other than they are an amazing group of people who came in and made a huge difference for our program," Peterson said of his staff. "It surprises me somewhat that we were able to accomplish since they have such little actual coaching experience, but what they lacked in experience, they more than made up in with enthusiasm and work ethic. I couldn't ask for a better staff to work with and I couldn't think of a more deserving group to earn this honor."
Dickensheets, a native of Lafayette, Ind., is just the fourth Hoosier to earn Pocock All-America honors and the first to earn first team distinction. She joins the list that includes Laura Lazaridis (Second Team All-American - 2005, 2006), Ellie Benson (Second Team All-American - 2008) and Asja Zero (Second Team All-American - 2012). Dickensheets is set to compete for the spot on the Under 23 Women's National Team this summer. She is one of 19 athletes (17 rowers and two coxswains) invited to attend the Women's Under 23 National Selection Camp, which is currently underway at the University of California - Berkeley. The Berkeley portion of the camp will conclude on July 5. The camp will start up again in Princeton, N.J., on July 8, 2014 for final preparation for the World Rowing Under 23 Championships. Under 23 Trials for pair qualification are June 22-25 at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J. The World Rowing Under 23 Championships are July 23-27 in Varese, Italy.
"Mera is an amazing athlete and exactly the type of person this award is made for," added Peterson. "She walked on to this team two years ago and has worked her way up to becoming one of the top collegiate rowers in the country. What makes this even more special is she has done all this work not for the personal praise or honors that she is now receiving, but instead she did it to help make her team the best it could be. She truly embodies what it means to be a great teammate. I am extremely excited for her to receive this honor, and I am excited to see how far she can go in this sport this summer as she tries out for the US National team, and next year as a senior here at IU."
Contact: Shana Daniels
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