Rowing News: Sixers, Davison named 2022 US Rower of the Year

USRowing is pleased to announce that Michelle Sixer has been named the 2022 Carie Graves Sportsperson of the Year, while Ben Davison has been named the 2022 Sportsperson of the Year.

Chosen by the senior team athletes and coaches who competed at the 2022 World Rowing Championships in Racice, Czech Republic, Sixer and Davison will be honored during the 2022 Golden Oars Celebration.

Sixer, a 10-time national team member, and partner Molly Reckford won the silver medal in the women’s lightweight doubles sculls at Racice. Sixers and Reckford formed their partnership last year, winning the Olympic Trials and Final Olympic Qualification Regatta before finishing fifth at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and setting an American record time in the semifinals. At this year’s World Championships, the duo took the next step up the medal table. Sixers and Reckford also won the second World Rowing Cup race in Poznan, Poland and the Stonor Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta in 2022.

“It has always been an honor to be part of the US women’s national team, a group that has produced so many strong, relentless, high-performing women over the years,” said Sechser. “But this year felt special in a different way. After the Tokyo Olympics, there was a lot of rebuilding, restructuring and regrouping for those who decided to move on. USRowing’s organizational structure was in flux, coaches were gone, and the results were still hard to swallow, but USRowing’s women chose to step back up. We’ve leaned on each other since we got back from Tokyo. We have spoken openly at the training center about our training environment, the accountability and sportsmanship we want to adhere to and the negative aspects of previous Olympic cycles that need to be ended. Claire (Collins) and Maddie (Wanamaker) paved the way with their work ethic and race results Molly and I together took an active role in being good teammates not only for each other but for the women we train with and want to lead the proverbial ‘hype train’ live in a silo of your own boat class so it was important for us to encourage our teammates to train alongside the other boat classes when we could and see how people are doing. It was great to see the women this year leaning on each other and staying committed to their goals for Paris, even if the pace magically doesn’t seem as fast as we’d like.

The Sportswoman of the Year was awarded renamed in honor of the late Carie Graveswho passed away at the end of last year.

“I hope other women athletes in the rowing community will carry on those ideals – leaning on their teammates, sticking together when the going gets tough, and knowing that your attitude and your effort are two things you control every day They come to practice or race,” said Sixer. “Thank you for honoring me with the Athlete of the Year award and thank you to the women who made this season so much fun.”

Davison, a 13-time national team member in the U19, U23 and senior divisions, finished eighth in the men’s single at the 2022 World Rowing Championships, earning the best result for a US men’s singles since Don Smith finished eighth at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Earlier in the season, Davison won a bronze medal in the singles at the 2022 World Rowing Cup race in Poznan and competed in The Diamond Sculls Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta. Domestically, Davison won the single at the inaugural 2022 National Selection Regatta.

“I am honored to receive this award. There was no shortage of incredibly talented athletes on the team this year, so to be voted Athlete of the Year by my peers is very special,” said Davison. “All in all, I was quite satisfied with the individual course of the season. While I was quite disappointed with how I did at the World Championships, there were many positive things to take away with me throughout the season. The main goal for the season was to get an honest assessment of where I am after a full year in singles against the top guys. Now that we have that, I realize I’ve got a lot to do, but we’re on the right track.”

USRowing previously announced this 2002 U23 National Team Athlete of the Year and the 2022 U19 National Team Player of the Year. The 2022 USRowing Beach Sprint Finals Athletes of the Year will be announced following the conclusion of those championships this weekend.

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