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Kara Kohler named USRowing female athlete of the year

Olympic bronze medalist Kara Kohler of Clayton has won her sport’s highest honor, being named USRowing’s 2019 female athlete of the year. Kohler was part of an American team that won bronze in London seven years ago but following the major disappointment of missing out on the Rio Games four years she switched to the single sculls and within two years was on the podium at this summer’s World Rowing Championships. That led to this honor voted by national team members. (photo courtesy USRowing)

Kara Kohler named USRowing female athlete of the year

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Kara Kohler named USRowing female athlete of the year
Olympic bronze medalist Kara Kohler of Clayton has won her sport’s highest honor, being named USRowing’s 2019 female athlete of the year. Kohler was part of an American team that won bronze in London seven years ago but following the major disappointment of missing out on the Rio Games four years she switched to the single sculls and within two years was on the podium at this summer’s World Rowing Championships. That led to this honor voted by national team members. (photo courtesy USRowing)

Kara Kohler of Clayton and Alex Karwoski were selected as this year’s USRowing female and male senior athletes of the year, respectively.

Selected by the athletes and coaches of the team that competed at the 2019 World Rowing

Championships in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria, Kohler and Karwoski will be honored at the 2019 Golden Oars Gala on Thursday, Nov. 7, at the New York Athletic Club’s Manhattan location.

A seven-time national team member, Kohler won the bronze medal in the women’s single sculls in Austria, reaching the medal stand at the world championships in just her second year in the event.

“Thank you to my teammates for giving me this title,” Kohler said. “With their positive energy and encouragement, I am able to push myself daily towards being a better athlete and teammate. They inspire me to show up every day and give my best, and I cannot wait to see what we are capable of accomplishing during this Olympic year.”

In her first season in the single in 2018, Kohler finished fourth at the world championships. Previously, Kohler was a member of the bronze-medal women’s quad­ruple sculls at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the gold-medal women’s four at the 2011 World Rowing Championships.

Kohler is a graduate of Clayton Valley High School and Cal Berkeley. She was introduced to rowing during a visit to Cal as a high school senior and was named Pacific-12 Newcomer of the Year as a freshman before going on to a distinguished career for the Golden Bears.

This award comes after she converted to single sculls after her most disappointing moment in the sport when she was not selected to row for America in the 2016 Rio Olympics. That caused her to evaluate her future in rowing and she has grabbed the new opportunity in single sculls, reaching the finals of her first two world championships in the event.

Her performance in Austria this summer qualified the US for a single sculls spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Karwoski, an eight-time national team member, sat in the bow seat of the men’s eight that finished fifth at the 2019 World Rowing Championships, qualifying the boat for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Karwoski has been a mainstay in the eight since 2015.

The Golden Oars Gala will honor the under 19, under 23 and senior national team 2019 athletes of the year, as well as this year’s USRowing Medal of Honor recipient.

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