MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia rowing coach Jimmy King has announced the team award winners for the 2020-21 year, recognizing senior award recipients and the Hammer, Flame, Most Improved and MVP awards.

Each of these honors was awarded to a member of the varsity squad and a first-year team member.

“Apart from the Hammer Awards for fastest ergs, our honorees are selected by their peers,” King said. “Rather than a simple vote, a statement is required to be written about each nominee that not only necessitates thoughtfulness, but allows everyone, especially the awardee, to understand how they are viewed and appreciated by their teammates.”

This year’s senior recognition awards were given to Ruth Mierzejewski, Amanda Starliper, Jordan Wittmaack and Jessica Woy.

The Flame Award is given to the varsity and first-year athletes whose teammates have recognized their consistent work ethic and contributions to the team serving as positive role models within and beyond the scope of team activities. These athletes lift up their teammates with words of encouragement and by their actions during tough practices, exhibiting true Mountaineer Spirit.

This year’s recipients of the Flame Award are junior Emma Toy and sophomore Madison Lindung of the varsity squad, and the first-year award was given to freshman Ashlea Clark. This marks the second year Toy has been named for the award.

The Hammer Award is presented to a first-year member and varsity athletes with the fastest 2k erg scores for the year. It recognizes the importance of power for speed in the sport of rowing.

The winner of this year’s Hammer Award were senior Allyson George of the varsity squad and first-year member Clark. This marks the third year that George has earned the award.

The Most Improved Award is awarded to the first-year member and varsity athletes whose teammates have recognized them as having made the biggest improvements in their rowing performance throughout the year. These improvements are accomplished through hard work on the erg, water and in the weight room.

The recipients of this year’s Most Improved Award are junior Gabrielle Riggleman from the varsity squad, and freshman Laurna Atkins.

The final award of the year is the MVP award. The award is given to the first-year and varsity student-athletes whose teammates have recognized their contributions as being essential to the success of the team. It considers off- and on-water performances, as well as leadership and focusing on how those contribute to racing on the water.

This year’s recipients are Toy of the varsity squad and freshman Emily DeGlopper, who was selected as the first-year award winner.

“Despite the disruptions and challenges experienced throughout the year, this year’s team has grown and developed significantly from the fall,” King added. “Much has been asked of them, particularly the younger first and second year members, and our award winners represent some of the best examples of that growth.”

The rowing team will travel to Austin, Texas, to compete on Sunday,  May 16, in the Big 12 championship at Lake Waker E. Long.