Openweight Women Ranked 3rd in Patriot League Preseason Poll

Openweight Women Ranked 3rd in Patriot League Preseason Poll

CENTER VALLEY, Pa.--Bucknell claimed eight first-place votes and 48 overall points to finish first in the 2010 Patriot League Rowing Preseason Poll. Navy garnered the other four first-place votes and earned 44 points to finish second in the poll. Patriot League newcomer MIT was picked third with 34 points. Holy Cross (24), Colgate (19) and Lehigh (11) round out the preseason rankings. The poll is voted on by head coaches and sports information directors, who can not vote for their own team.

Bucknell stands as a four-time defending Patriot League champion and brings back junior Carol Schoenecker, a 2009 College Rowing Coaches Association All-Mid-Atlantic Second-Team Selection. Bucknell's varsity eight won last season's Patriot League Boat of the Year honors, while Bison head coach Stephen Kish was voted 2009 Patriot League Coach of the Year.

Navy is the only other Patriot League team to been crowned champion, winning the inaugural title in 2005. The Mids finished second in last season's championship. In its attempt to knock off Bucknell, Navy will count on returning All-Patriot League selections Stephanie Rockford and Sierra Rooney.

MIT joined the Patriot League as an associate member for rowing in February. Holly Metcalf enters her third campaign as the MIT head women's rowing coach this season. During her competitive career, she was a six-time member of the U.S. National Team and won five World Championship and Olympic medals, including a gold medal at the 1984 Olympic Games. Women's rowing at MIT has been competing at the NCAA Division I level since September 2001.

Holy Cross finished in third place at the 2009 Patriot League Championship, the Crusaders highest finish in school history. Holy Cross’ 16 points was the school’s highest point-total since the inaugural Patriot League Championship in 2005.

Colgate is coming off a fourth-place finish at the 2009 Patriot League Championship. The Raiders will be aided by the return of captain Vicky Hulit and fellow senior Meredith Buerger.

Lehigh welcomes back junior Jen Lance, a two-time All-Patriot League selection. The Mountain Hawks will seek to improve upon their fifth place finish at the Patriot League Championship a year ago.

The 2010 Patriot League Rowing Championship will take place Sunday, April 25 on the Cooper River in Camden County, N.J. The Patriot League Championship is a full-field event. The championship consists of three races: Varsity Four, Second Varsity Eight and Varsity Eight.

2010 Patriot League Preseason Rowing Poll
(First-place votes in parentheses)

1. Bucknell, 48 points (8)
2. Navy, 44 (4)
3. MIT, 34
4. Holy Cross, 24
5. Colgate, 19
6. Lehigh, 11