The defending national rowing champions Virginia Cavaliers are getting the year started right. After a strong overall showing at the Head of the Charles, more exciting news came, as senior captain Kristine O'Brien was chosen by fans as the 2012 USRowing Fan's Choice College Rower of the Year.
A part of the 2012 Varsity Eight that won the NCAA Championship, O'Brien's rowing career has been marked with accolades and championships, including the 2010, 2011 and 2012 ACC Champion V8 crews and 2010 and 2012 ACC Crew of the Year honors. She is also a world champion in U23 U.S. women's eight.
O'Brien picked up 29.8% of the 5,818 fan votes, followed by Michigan's Chrissy Holm (25.9%) and Washington's Alex Bunkers (25.2%).
"Kristine has been the epitome of great attitude, hard work and tenacious racing all four years at UVa as well as internationally," Virginia head coach Kevin Sauer said in a VirginiaSports release. "She has been a joy to coach and has made a huge impact our program."
Coach Sauer was a finalist for Collegiate Coach of the Year, as was assistant coach Brett Sickler for her time as an assistant at Michigan. Sauer finished with 17.2% of the votes, while Sickler garnered 11.8%. Brown Head Coach Paul Cocke won that category with a whopping 36.0%.