Plesser, Aggies Honored By Rowing Association

Emily Plesser was named CRCA Division II Coach of the Year.
Emily Plesser was named CRCA Division II Coach of the Year.

June 26, 2003

ITHACA, N.Y. - UC Davis coach Emily Plesser and four Aggies from the NCAA Division II champion Aggies have been honored by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA), it has been announced.

Plesser was named the Division II Women's Rowing Coach of the Year, Shelley Best and Brooke Fornaciari were earlier named first-team All-Americans, and Kerry Byrne and Kelly Sweerus were each named Division II National Scholar-Athletes.

Plesser was honored as the Coach of the Year for the fourth time in her career after UC Davis captured the NCAA Division II Championship in early June for the second consecutive year. Plesser has been head coach at UC Davis since 1990, leading the Aggies from club to varsity status in 1997. During her tenure, the Aggies have participated in the NCAA Championships five times, including the last two seasons.

Best and Fornaciari were each members of the Aggies' first varsity eight crew which captured NCAA titles in the event each of the past two seasons, helping lead UC Davis to the overall team titles at each NCAA regatta as well. This season at Indianapolis, Ind., the Aggies won both of their varsity eight races, including a title-clinching victory in the event final on June 1 in which UC Davis was timed in 6 minutes, 51.74 seconds.

Best is a senior from San Francisco, while Fornaciari is a senior from Redstone, Colo.

Named as Division II National Scholar-Athletes were Byrne - a junior from Sebastopol - and Sweerus, a junior from Olympia, Wash. Byrne was in the NCAA champion first varsity eight boat in 2002 and 2003 while Sweerus was a member of the victorious second varsity eight boat at last year's national championships. Byrne is majoring in environmental biology and management, while Sweerus is majoring in neurobiology, physiology and behavior.