NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Charlie Cole of New Canaan was named USRowing Male Athlete of the Year on Thursday. Julie Nichols of California was named the Female Athlete of the Year.
Cole, who began rowing under Yan Vengerovskiy at Maritime Rowing Club, competed for the U.S. team at the 2011 World Rowing Championships, finishing fourth in the men’s four to qualify the boat for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Earlier this summer, the Yale graduate won bronze in the four at the 2011 Samsung World Rowing Cup in Lucerne and reached the finals of the Stewards Challenge Cup at the 2011 Henley Royal Regatta.
“It's a great honor to be recognized this way by my teammates and coaches,” Cole said. “Brett [Newlin], Scott [Gault], Giuseppe [Lanzone] and I were lucky to get to race together all summer, and the guys helped me get a lot better. The most important thing is that everyone is looking forward. The end results were not great, and it's up to us to show that as individuals, and as a group, we can do better.”
Nichols, an eight-time senior national team member, finished fourth in the lightweight women’s double sculls at the 2011 World Rowing Championships last month in Bled, Slovenia, qualifying the boat for the London Olympics.
The athletes and coaches of the 2011 World Rowing Championships squad selected this year's USRowing Male and Female Athletes of the Year. Nichols and Cole will be honored on Nov. 30 at the first annual Golden Oars Awards Dinner in New York City.
For more information about the event, visit www.usrowing.org