CHESTERTOWN, Md. — The six-time defending Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC) Championship Washington College women's rowing team is well-positioned for a run at seven straight titles as the Shorewomen open their spring championship season with 15 of the 18 student-athletes who competed at last year's NCAA Division III Championships back on the roster.
The Shorewomen return the coxswain and six of the eight rowers from last year's first varsity eight - junior coxswain Olivia Robb (Kennett Square, Pa./Unionville); senior rowers Leslie Collins (Newark, Del./Ursuline Academy), Karis Marano (Catonsville, Md./Catonsville), and Kelin McCloskey (Kennett Square, Pa./Unionville); junior rowers Breanna Lanphear (Nottingham, Md./Perry Hall) and Erika Reynolds (Finksburg, Md./North Harford); and sophomore rower Gabrielle Francis (Laurelton, N.Y./Jamaica Gateway to the Sciences). Collins, Marano, Reynolds, and Robb have all been a part of the Shorewomen's top boat for each of the past two years. Reynolds earned All-MARC Varsity honors last year, while Marano was named the team's Most Valuable. Francis was named to last year's All-MARC Novice team. Robb, Marano, and Reynolds are serving as the team's captains.
Eight of the nine student-athletes who competed in the second varsity eight at last year's NCAA Division III Championships are also back: senior coxswain Emily Booth (Camden, Del./Caesar Rodney); senior rower Kaitlyn O'Donnell (Colonia, N.J./Colonia); junior rowers Lexi Hegeman (Baldwin, Md./Institute of Notre Dame), Emma Hogan (Hagerstown, MD./St. Maria Goretti), and Emily Van Driel (Old Bridge, N.J./Old Bridge); and sophomore rowers Agnes Anderson (Ulster Park, N.Y./Kingston), Emma Dodsworth (Port Republic, Md./Calvert), and Annie Krysztofiak (Paoli, Pa./Delaware Valley Friends School). Booth has been the coxswain of the Shorewomen's second varsity eight at the past three NCAA Division III Championships.
Rounding out the Shorewomen's returners from last spring are senior coxswain Amelia Berbach (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport); senior rowers Lizzie Bienert (Freeland, Md./Hereford) and Sara Underwood (Claymont, Del./Padua Academy), and sophomore rower Talia Seidman (Hagerstown, Md./Smithsburg). Beinert rowed in the second varsity eight as a junior at the NCAA Division III Championships but was sidelined last spring, while Underwood rowed in the second varsity eight at the NCAA Division III Championships as a freshman. Both of them rowed in the Shorewomen's top eight at this past fall's Occoquan Challenge. Seidman spent part of last spring in the second varsity eight.
Among the 16 student-athletes new to the Shorewomen's roster since last spring are three that competed for the Shorewomen at the Occoquan Challenge this past fall. Sophomore Devin Valcich (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck), a transfer from the University of Delaware, and freshman Tegan McBride (Waterbury, Conn./Westover School) rowed in the Shorewomen's second eight at that regatta, while freshman Diana Schwartz (St. Louis, Mo./Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School) was the coxswain of that boat.
The Shorewomen welcome back a veteran coaching staff this spring. Head coach Kari Hughes is in her third year as head coach and fourth overall with the program, while lead assistant Colleen Ryan is in her second season with the team. Long-time assistant coaches Lauren Shaw and Caren Saunders also return and retired head coach Mike Davenport continues to assist as a volunteer.
The Shorewomen will open their spring regatta schedule March 23rd at the Murphy Cup in Philadelphia before hosting the Washington College Invitational one week later. They will then travel to Shrewsbury, Mass., the following weekend for a pair of regattas against some of the top teams from New England and New York and will compete at the Knecht Cup in Cherry Hill, N.J., April 13th and 14th. The Shorewomen's quest for a seventh consecutive conference title will come to a head at the MARC Championships in Lewisberry, Pa., on April 27th. They are then scheduled to compete at the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia May 10th and 11th. This year's NCAA Division III Championships will take place in Indianapolis, Ind., May 31st and June 1st.