Oklahoma and Texas have split the 2016 Big 12 Rowing yearly honors as announced by the conference office on Monday. OU’s Maegan Neihart took home the Rower of the Year honor, while UT’s Mariam Soufi earned the Newcomer of the Year accolade. Texas head coach Dave O’Neill was voted Coach of the Year.
It marks the fourth time in five years a Sooner has earned at least a share of the Rower of the Year award and the second consecutive season a Longhorn has been named Newcomer of the Year. O’Neill has been voted coach of the year for the second year in a row.
Award winners were selected following a vote of conference coaches.
Big 12 Rower of the Year
Maegan Neihart, Jr., Oklahoma, First Eight, Four Seat, Bethany, Okla.
The junior is a crucial member of the first eight boat that saw a second place finish at the 2016 Big 12 Championship, and has rowed in the first eight for the past two seasons. The Sooner overcame adversity in the form of a rib injury this spring and has greatly contributed to her team’s success. Neihart pulls a 7:02 2K, marking the third fastest time on the Oklahoma squad. She was named to the 2016 All-Big 12 Rowing Team along with the Big 12 Academic All-Conference Team and the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
Big 12 Newcomer of the Year
Mariam Soufi, Fr., Texas, First Eight, Five Seat, Atlanta, Ga.
A swimmer throughout high school, Soufi made the full time transition to rowing once entering college. The freshman competed with a small junior program in Atlanta, prior to Texas. She dedicated her time and effort, focusing on improving and earned the five seat in the Longhorns’ first eight boat. The boat took first at the Big 12 Championship and place first in the petite final at the NCAA Championships.
Big 12 Coach of the Year
Dave O’Neill, Texas, Second Season
In his second season in Austin, O’Neill has continued to push the Longhorns to new heights. UT took home the Big 12 Championship title for the second consecutive season and placed a school-record eighth at the NCAA Championships.