June 12, 2008
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Men's rowing coach Michael Callahan was named Coach of the Year, Heath Allen Men's Athlete of the Year and Blaise Didier Newcomer of the Year in the Pac-10 Conference's end of season awards. A total of four Husky men and one woman were named to the all-conference teams.
Callahan, in just his first year at the helm for the Huskies, saw his team earn three national championships (second varsity eight, varsity four, freshman four) and two silver medals (varsity eight, freshman eight) at the 2008 IRA Regatta. In addition, Coach Callahan directed Washington to a sweep at the Pac-10 Championships, where his crews won the men's team title thanks to victories in the varsity eight, second varsity eight, freshman eight and varsity four grand finals. Just months into his first season as the Washington men's head coach, Callahan coached the Huskies to varsity eight victories at the San Diego Crew Classic and Windermere Cup.
Allen (Durango, Colo./Durango), distinguished as the outstanding senior male student-athlete from Washington - based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership - was named a 2008 Pac-10 Medal Winner. In addition, he earned accolades on the water as a member of the silver medal varsity eight crew at the IRA Championships. Rowing in the No. 7 seat this season, Allen was part of the Pac-10 Champion varsity eight crew that secured the team victory for the Huskies.
Didier (San Francisco, Calif./John O'Connell), rowing three seats in front of Allen, held position in the No. 4 seat of the varsity eight boat this season. Also a member of the IRA Championships silver medal squad and the Pac-10 Champion crew, the sophomore helped the Washington varsity eight boat to the San Diego Crew Classic title.
Three other Husky men from the varsity eight boat earned All-Conference honors: junior Will Crothers (Kingston, Ontario/Kingston C.V.I.), senior Tony Dankbaar (Sydney, Australia/St. Joseph's), and junior Jessiah Johnson (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island).
Senior Ashley Jones (Yakima, Wash./West Valley) was the lone woman from the Huskies' NCAA runner up team to make the All-Conference squad. Jones was in the fifth seat for the varsity eight crew that was fifth at the NCAA Championships and was in the number three seat for the crew that won the prestigious Jessop-Whittier Cup at the San Diego Crew Classic.