GNAC Has 2 CRCA Athlete of the Year Award Finalists

Friday, August 11, 2023
by Evan O'Kelly

WILMINGTON, Del. – Giving the Great Northwest Athletic Conference two of the three finalists for the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Athlete of the Year award, Seattle Pacific’s Macie Leach and Central Oklahoma’s Faith Brooks were each announced as finalists by the organization on Friday.

Named an All-American by the organization for the 2023 season, Brooks helped UCO to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships. She garnered first-team all-conference recognition after leading her team to the GNAC title by a single point over Cal Poly Humboldt.

The 2022 GNAC Rower of the Year, Leach led the Falcons to a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships last season and was a two-time first-team all-conference selection in women’s rowing. Leach was a three-time academic all-conference selection and earned the CRCA’s academic award following the 2022 season. She was also named to the Pocock/CRCA All-America first team for the 2023 season.

Along with Leach and Brooks, Sofia Lorenzini of Embry-Riddle was the third finalist for the sport’s top award. The award is in its second year of existence.

Of note: Matt Weise of national champion Cal Poly Humboldt was named the 2023 CRCA National Coach of the Year for the NCAA Division II level. Weise led the Jacks to their first national title since the 2014 season, and to a perfect score at the championships with victories in both the 4+ and 8+ events.