Faith Brooks Is CRCA Athlete of the Year

Thursday, August 17, 2023
by Evan O'Kelly

WILMINGTON, Del. – Central Oklahoma’s Faith Brooks capped her stellar junior season by being named the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Athlete of the Year announced by the organization on Thursday.

A two-time All-American, Brooks helped lead UCO to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships in 2023 after the Bronchos claimed the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship. "I am so honored that I was a finalist for the Athlete of the Year award,” said Brooks, a native of Georgetown, Texas. “I am full of gratitude and appreciation to all who nominated me and felt that I deserved this honor. As I head into my last year of rowing, I am excited to see what amazing things our team can accomplish exemplifying hard work, grit and determination."

Brooks won the GNAC Freshman of the Year award in 2021, as she piloted Central Oklahoma to its third consecutive NCAA Division II national title. She is a three-time all-conference selection and a two-time GNAC champion. “It's an incredible honor for Faith to have been nominated," UCO head rowing coach Jen Gilbert said. "Faith recognizes that hers, and our team’s achievements are the sum of everyone in the boathouse contributing to something that is greater than themselves. She is modest in her abilities yet strives from whatever seat she is in to motivate, inspire and bring out the best in those around her. She was an incredible captain for UCO this past season and I cannot wait to see what she will achieve in her final year."

Brooks is the fourth GNAC athlete for the 2022-23 academic year to be named the national athlete of the year in their sport. She joins United Soccer Coaches Player of the Year Tera Ziemer of Western Washington, D2CCA Ron Lenz Volleyball Player of the Year Eve Stephens of Alaska Anchorage, and D2CCA Ron Lenz Women’s Basketball Player of the Year Samantha Bowman of Central Washington.

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