WWU Rowing Nominated for Seattle Sports Award

Jan. 11, 2018

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Western Washington University and University of Washington women’s rowing teams brought home NCAA national championships in 2017, and the dominating performances by the two programs have been nominated as a Sports Story of the Year for the 83rd Annual MTRWestern Sports Star of the Year.

The Vikings secured their eighth NCAA Division II national championship, edging Central Oklahoma 17-16 in team scoring. The Varsity 4 won the national championship and the Varsity 8 came in second in the finals to help secure the program’s eighth title, and first since a seven-year streak from 2005-2011. The elite program has advanced to the NCAA Championships in 16 of the 17 seasons of the event.

“It’s a great honor to be nominated for this award. It’s also exciting our nomination is combined with University of Washington. We have a storied history of racing, practicing and working together for a very long time,” said head coach John Fuchs, who is entering his 20th season leading the program. “2017 was the first year UW {DI and us {DII} both won the NCAA championship the same year, same venue and literally a couple hours apart. We were all rooting for each other to bring back the titles for our respective universities. And, of course, it is a tribute to what we are trying to accomplish here at Western. Our goal is to expose our student-athletes to a prime learning experience through sport.  It is what we are about and will always be. Our roster is 100% walk-ons, too, and that is something our Western community can be very proud of. We are grateful to be recognized by the Seattle Sports Commission.”

The Huskies won their fourth NCAA title and became the first program in the 21-year history of the NCAA Rowing Championship to sweep all three grand finals. Washington's rowing victory also marked the 500th NCAA team championship won by a Pac-12 program, most by any conference.

Now in its 83rd year, the event has honored some of Seattle’s most inspiring and iconic sports individuals, legends, media and philanthropists. Nominees are selected by the Sports Star Committee, compiled of local sports historians, media and other members of the sports industry, and then voted on by the general public. The winners are announced during the 83rd Annual MTRWestern Sports Star of the Year show hosted at the Sheraton Seattle on Thursday, February 8, 2018.

The six nominees for the 2017 Sports Story of the Year are the following:

  • UW and Western women rowers rule
  • Gonzaga soars to its first Final Four
  • Huskies top both pro basketball drafts
  • OVG gets go-ahead to remodel KeyArena
  • Sounders make it back to the MLS Cup
  • Seattle scores big with WNBA All-Stars

Voting open to the public online on Monday and closes Friday, January 26, 2018 at 5 p.m. PST. Fans can vote for their favorite male, female and sports story of the year online at ssy.seattlesports.org.

This marks the second year in a row that WWU Athletics has been up for an award at the annual event, with women’s soccer player Sierra Shugarts nominated for the 2016 Female Sports Star of the Year after leading the Vikings to the NCAA II National Championship and being named the Division II National Player of the Year.

Tickets to the show can be purchased online as either a table ticket package or individual reserved ticket. More details about the upcoming event and pricing can be found on our website www.sportsstaroftheyear.org. To stay up-to-date with information as the event approaches follow the SSC Twitter account, @SeattleSC, or the event hashtag, #83SSY.

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