Five members of the West Virginia University rowing team earned awards to cap the 2019-20 season, as the team selected this year’s award winners on Sunday, May 17, via Zoom.
“Coming together at the end of the year, even virtually, to celebrate our successes and recognize some of our outstanding performers provides a degree of needed closure for our team in this extraordinary time,” WVU coach Jimmy King said. “Although the racing season was missed, our award winners established themselves through the course of the year and have been fittingly recognized by their peers.”
This year’s recipients of the Flame Award are sophomore Emma Toy of the varsity squad and freshman Kathleen Meldrum of the novice squad. The Flame Award is given to the novice and varsity athletes whose teammates have recognized their personality and contributions to the team. It represents the flame as a symbol of Mountaineer spirit. These athletes lift up their teammates during tough practices, work behind the scenes to make sure that races run smoothly and go out of their way to show true Mountaineer Spirit.
This year’s Hammer Award was given to junior Allyson George of the varsity squad and Meldrum of the novice squad. The Hammer Award is presented to the novice and varsity athletes with the fastest 2k erg scores for the year. It recognizes the importance of power for speed in the sport of rowing.
Two newcomers were the recipients of this year’s Most Improved Rower award. Freshman Lydia Nicolai took home the award for the varsity squad, while sophomore Rose McCracken was the novice squad recipient. This is awarded to the novice and varsity athletes whose teammates have recognized them as having made the biggest improvements in their rowing performance through the year. These improvements are accomplished through hard work on the erg, water and in the weight room.
The final award of the year was the Most Valuable Player award. This year’s recipients are George of the varsity squad and Meldrum of the novice squad. The MVP award is given to the novice and varsity student-athletes whose teammates have recognized their contributions as being essential to the success of the team. It considers off- and on-water performances as well as leadership and focusing on how those contribute to racing on the water.
“The coaches are very proud of not only our award winners, but our entire team for how well they have supported one another over the past two months,” King added. “When hopefully gathered together in the fall, we plan to have a proper recognition of our 2020 seniors and award winners.”