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PHILADELPHIA - Bronze medalists at the 2010 U-23 World Championships, Rebecca Donald and Elizabeth Donald of the University of Pennsylvania women's rowing team, were honored along with George A. Munger Head Coach of Football Al Bagnoli at the 107th annual Philadelphia Sports Writers Association (PSWA) Awards Dinner Monday night in Cherry Hill, N.J.
Bagnoli and the Donald twins were joined by fellow honorees Roy Halladay (Philadelphia Phillies), Elton Brand (Philadelphia 76ers), Ian Lapperierre (Philadelphia Flyers), former Penn men's basketball head coach Fran Dunphy (Temple men's basketball) and Shane Victorino (Philadelphia Phillies).
Bagnoli was honored with a Special Achievement Award. In 2010, Bagnoli broke a 109-year-old record to become the all-time winningest head coach at Penn en route to a second consecutive undefeated Ivy championship and his record-breaking eighth outright Ivy League title overall. Bagnoli, who was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award as the FCS National Coach of the Year, has won 131 games in 19 seasons at Penn, surpassing George Woodruff's 124 wins between 1892-1901.
The Donald twins have played a central role in the rebuilding of the University of Pennsylvania's women's rowing program. Both of them have rowed on the varsity 8 since their freshman year, helping that boat to a fifth-place finish at both the 2008 and 2010 Eastern Sprints held just outside these doors on the Cooper River. Prior to 2008, Penn had not made a grand final at Eastern Sprints since 1991 and hadn't finished fifth or better since 1982.
The Donalds have also made a name for themselves on the national and international level. In the summer of 2009, the duo won a pair of doubles championships at the USRowing Club Nationals. This past summer, the Donalds won the women's double sculls title at the Under-23 World Championships Trials, allowing them to represent the United States at the Under-23 World Championships in Brest, Belarus where they took bronze.
Individually, Elizabeth has been a first-team all-region pick by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches of America (CRCA) for the last two years, while Rebecca has been a second-team all-region pick all three years. Elizabeth was also a CRCA National Scholar-Athlete in 2008-09.
Made up of the most prominent media members in the Philadelphia area, the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association was founded on May 12, 1904, and the first of what would become an annual Awards Dinner was held Feb. 15, 1905.