2012 Conference USA Rowing All-Academic Team Announced

May 9, 2012

IRVING, Texas - Fifteen student-athletes were named to the 2012 Conference USA All-Academic Team as voted on by the league's sports information directors for women's rowing. Oklahoma placed three members on the squad, while Alabama, Kansas, Tennessee, Texas and Tulsa had two student-athlete representatives.

The all-academic team consists of student-athletes who have earned a 3.2 cumulative grade point average or better and are a key contributor to their team. This year's squad each compiled a GPA of 3.7 or better, averaging an impressive 3.88. Seven were unanimous selections.

Oklahoma placed a team-best three student-athletes on the all-academic squad, including repeat members Nicole Furmanek and Brooke Sheppard. That pair, along with senior classmate Ivy Brown, were members of the OU Varsity 8 crew that twice won C-USA Boat of the Week honors. All three also earned the Commissioner's Academic Medal this year. Furmanek, an elementary education major with a 3.92 GPA from Belleville, Ill., was named the Sooners' MVP. Sheppard is a senior human resources management/finance major from Lawton, Okla., while Brown stayed in her hometown of Norman to study health and exercise science.

Alabama senior Stephanie Varner is also making her second unanimous appearance on the All-Academic squad. She maintains a perfect 4.00 GPA as and electrical engineering major. She has earned President's List honors and won the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering's Fred R. Maxwell Award in 2011. A native of Somerville, Ala., Varner also earned the C-USA Academic Medal. Crimson Tide junior Canella Tinker makes her debut on the all-academic squad. The Hayleyville, Ala., native carries a 3.93 GPA as an exercise and sports science major.

Tulsa placed a pair on the 2012 All-Academic Rowing Team in sophomores Elissa Stiles and Renee Vanesse, who both carry 3.9 GPAs. Stiles, a Spanish and international studies major from Collinsville, Okla., was a member of the TU Varsity 4 crew that won the Lawless Cup and was named the C-USA Boat of the Week. Vanesse is a key member of the Varsity 8 that posted wins over conference foes Kansas, Kansas State and SMU. A native of Coon Rapids, Minn., she has been named to the Dean's List and President's List as she pursues a degree in economics.



Tennessee junior Erika Johnson is another repeat all-academic selection, rowing all spring with the First Varsity 8 all season and maintaining a 3.74 GPA as a biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology major. A native of Victoria, B.C., she guided her shell to three medals at the Oak Ridge Invitational. She is joined by teammate Rachel Clagett, a sophomore coxswain from Brentwood, Tenn. Clagett has coxed the Varsity 8 and Second Varsity 4 this season. She also received the C-USA Academic Medal with a 3.76 GPA in graphic design.

Defending C-USA champion Texas also placed two on the all-academic team. Junior Chelsea Burns, from San Antonio, earns her second all-academic team nod with a 3.83 GPA as an audiology major at UT. Burns split time between the First and Second Varsity 8 squads, and led the Second Varsity to victory at the Big 12 Championship to secure the team title. Sophomore Jessica Glennie was also on that winning Second Varsity team. A native of Auckland, New Zealand, Glennie maintains an impressive 3.94 GPA in architecture.

Kansas senior Melanie Luthi repeats her selection with a unanimous vote to this year's all-academic team. A native of Junction City, Kan., she started her career as a member of the team that set the school record for the 2000 meters (6:26.2) at the 2009 South Central Regional Regatta. She is a two-time winner of the C-USA Academic Medal and is also a member of the Big 12 All-Academic Team as she carries a 3.87 GPA as a mechanical engineering and business double major. Luthi is joined this season by sophomore teammate Elizabeth Scherer, a sophomore from Wamego, Kan. Scherer has been part of the First Varsity 8 most of the 2012 season. She also earned the C-USA Academic Medal with a 3.93 GPA in exercise science and pre-physical therapy.

UCF senior Chelsey Lauzon maintains a 3.94 GPA as an elementary education/coaching major. She is making her second appearance on the all-academic squad, and is a two-time All-Conference USA selection. Lauzon won her first all-conference nod following the Knights second place performance at the inaugural C-USA Championship in 2010. She has been a member of the UCF First Varsity 8 all four years of her career. The native of Rockford, Mich., was also named the 2011 Conference USA Rowing Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Kansas State co-captain Amanda Weishaar rounds out the 15-member squad as another repeat selection from a year ago. The senior carries a 3.9 GPA as a public relations major and is a member of the University Honors Program and Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society. She participated in eight events for the Wiildcats this season as part of the First and Second Varsity 8 crews.

The 2012 C-USA Rowing Championship will take place Saturday, May 12 at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn. For coverage and updates on the Championship, visit the C-USA Women's Rowing Championship Central.

2012 C-USA Rowing All-Academic Team (* Repeat Selection)

Canella Tinker - Alabama - Junior - 3.93 - Exercise & Sports Science
*Stephanie Varner - Alabama - Senior - 4.00 - Electrical Engineering
*Melanie Luthi - Kansas - Senior - 3.87 - Mechanical Engineering & Business
Elizabeth Scherer - Kansas - Sophomore - 3.93 - Exercise Science & Pre-Physical Therapy
*Amanda Weishaar - Kansas State - Senior - 3.90 - Public Relations
Ivy Brown - Oklahoma - Senior - 3.81 - Health & Exercise Science
*Nicole Furmanek - Oklahoma - Senior - 3.92 - Elementary Education
*Brooke Sheppard - Oklahoma - Senior - 3.89 - Human Resource Management/Finance
Rachel Clagett - Tennessee - Sophomore - 3.76 - Graphic Design
*Erika Johnson - Tennessee - Junior - 3.74 - Biochemistry, Cellular & Molecular Biology
*Chelsea Burns - Texas - Junior - 3.83 - Audiology
Jessica Glennie - Texas - Sophomore - 3.94 - Architecture
Elissa Stiles - Tulsa - Sophomore - 3.90 - Spanish & International Studies
Renee Vanasse - Tulsa - Sophomore - 3.90 - Economics
*Chelsey Lauzon - UCF - Senior - 3.94 - Elementary Education/Coaching

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