Melissa Sloan Named All-Pac-12; Anna Taylor Top Newcomer
May 24, 2012
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -
Oregon State senior Melissa Sloan was announced as a member of the Women’s Rowing Pac-12 All-Conference team and redshirt freshman Anna Taylor was named Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year, Commissioner Larry Scott announced Thursday.
Sloan (St. Louis, Mo./Nerinx Hall HS) and Taylor (Taupo, New Zealand/St. Peter’s School) were key members of the Varsity 8 throughout the 2012 season. Sloan rowed in the 2-seat for most of the season and was the only rower in the V8 that was a four-year letterwinner. She, along with Taylor, helped their crew to several strong performances against some of the fastest boats in the nation including a second place finish in the Cal Cup at the San Diego Crew Classic.
“Melissa is so deserving of this honor,” head coach Emily Ford said. “She was one of the best technicians on the team and her fitness was outstanding. She was a great example of the value of focused, consistent practice. Mel’s impact on this team, however, reached far beyond her physical skills. She was one of the best leaders I have known in my career. She valued honestly and direct communication above all else, which allowed her to be extremely effective. The team came a huge distance this year in large part because of Mel’s ability and willingness to lead it.”
Taylor, who set the pace for the Beavers performed in the stroke seat in 2012, is OSU’s first conference newcomer of the year. She missed most of her true freshman season in 2011 while recovering from thyroid cancer – read more here.
“This is a huge honor for Anna and for Oregon State,” Ford said. “At this time last year, Anna was recovering from cancer removal surgery. It was an extremely difficult time and there were many days that she couldn’t see how this was all going to turn out alright. There have been a million emotions along the way, a lot of ups and downs. With great personal resolve, and with amazing support from her family and teammates, Anna has fought her way back. For her to receive this honor and vote of confidence from the Pac-12 coaches is great validation for her and the team’s journey. And, the great thing is that Anna is just getting started. She attacked this year with a vengeance, but she has so many more levels. I can’t wait to see how the next chapter unfolds.”
Oregon State’s season ended recently following a seventh place finish at the Pac-12 Championships. The Beavers expect to return six rowers from the V8 crew, including two freshmen and three sophomores for the 2012-13 season.