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STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford rowing dominated the individual Pac-10 rowing honors Wednesday, as the conference announced that Director of Rowing and men's head coach Craig Amerkhanian was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year for the second time in his career, while senior Alex Osborne and sophomore Erika Roddy took home the conference's Men's and Women's Athlete of the Year awards, respectively.
The Athlete of the Year awards are given to the top vote-getters based upon coaches' nominations of student-athletes who participated in the I Eight race at the Pac-10 Championships. The Newcomers of the Year are awarded to the coaches' nominees from the institutions that won the men's and women's team championships.
Wednesday's Pac-10 Coach of the Year honor is the second of Amerkhanian's coaching career, with the first coming in 2006. Amerkhanian has overseen the evolution of the Stanford rowing program into one of the nation's most elite over his nine years at the helm. This season, the Stanford men finished third in the team competition, but saw all three boats medal in the individual class competition, led by the I Eight, which took the silver medal while finishing just three-tenths of a second back of California in the Grand Final. The II Eight and Four each claimed bronze to complete a strong showing by the Cardinal at Lake Natoma.
Amerkhanian's boats claimed a sweep of Oregon State at the Stanford Invitational while the I Eight also defeated Washington and fell just short of defending champion Wisconsin that same weekend. This weekend Amerkhanian will hope to guide his Cardinal boats to national titles at the IRA Championships at Lake Natoma.
Osborne, a senior from Sherman Oaks, Calif., wrapped up his Pac-10 rowing career with a silver medal in the I Eight Grand Final at the Pac-10 Championships and will attempt to claim the gold medal this weekend as the boat takes part in the IRA Championships at Lake Natoma.
In 2009, Osborne helped pace the No. 4 I Eight to victories over Oregon State and Washington before falling just 0.32 of a second short against defending national champion Wisconsin at the Stanford Invitational. The boat also traded victories with rival California at the San Diego Crew Classic earlier in the spring.
San Francisco native and sophomore Roddy began rowing with the Stanford women's I Eight in mid-April following the Lake Natoma Invitational, seeing her first action at The Big Row where she stroked the Cardinal to victory over California. Two weeks later, she was aboard again as the Cardinal raced to the gold medal at the Pac-10 Championships while setting a Lake Natoma course record.
Two weeks after that, Roddy was again the stroke for the I Eight as it became Stanford's first-ever NCAA gold medalist at the NCAA Championships in Cherry Hill, N.J. Roddy helped the boat to the fastest time of Friday's heats, then two days later in the Grand Final, was part of Stanford's national championship effort that edged Virginia for the gold and also clinched Stanford's first-ever team national championship.
Both Osborne and Roddy were also selected to their respective All-Pac-10 First Teams last week.
Roddy's selection Wednesday also marks the second straight year in which a Stanford women's rower has taken home the Women's Athlete of the Year honor, as Jessi Reel won the award last season.