Kaitlyn Kynast, a Ridgefield High School graduate who is now a freshman at Stanford University, has won the 2017 Fan’s Choice Award for USRowing’s Junior Athlete of the Year.

Kynast was among seven Fan's Choice winners (four athletes, three coaches) recently announced by USRowing. Kynast and the other winners will be honored at the seventh-annual Golden Oars Awards Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at the New York Athletic Club in New York City.

A 2017 Ridgefield High graduate, Kynast competed for three years with the Norwalk-based Connecticut Boat Club, helping CBC crews win gold medals at the 2016 (Mercer, N.J.) and 2017 (Sarasota, Fla.) junior nationals.

“Kaitlyn was an amazing athlete to work with during her years at CBC and she absolutely deserves this prestigious award," said Liz Trond, the head coach at the Connecticut Boat Club. "I advise everyone to keep watching her athletic career, which will no doubt lead her to be a serious contender for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, with an outside chance for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.”

Kynast was named to USRowing's Under-19 National Team the last three years, winning a gold medal in the women's four event at the 2015 World Rowing Junior Championships in Brazil and bronze medals at the 2016 championships (women's pair) in the Netherlands and the 2017 championships (women's four) in Lithuania.

The top undergraduate college recruit in the country while at Ridgefield High, Kynast is currently the only freshman competing in a Division I program's lead Varsity 8 boat.

Before she began rowing, Kynast was a three-sport athlete as a freshman at Ridgefield High School, competing on the girls volleyball, basketball, and lacrosse teams.