Sept. 2, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The deepest and most talented recruited classes ever for the Openweight Women's Crew arrived on campus this week for freshman orientation. Joining the squad as part of the Class of 2012 are a dozen rowers and two coxswains recruited to MIT by novice coach Aaron Benson.
"This new group brings both skill and enthusiasm to the squad," remarked head coach Holly Metcalf. "At the same time, our strong senior class has a lot to teach before they hand off the baton to the younger group. I'm really looking forward to working with everyone and seeing what great strides we can make as a team this year."
The new recruits come from every corner of the country:
Megan Bowman (5'11") - A three-time state champion, Megan made the varsity boat for the Indianapolis Rowing Center when she was only a sophomore. Her senior year she rowed in the stern pair and served as captain of her team.
Celena Chan (5'2") - An energetic coxswain from Oakland Strokes, Celena earned the Coaches Award there and led her crew to first- and second-place finishes at the Long Beach Invitational and USRowing Southwest Regional Championship.
Ariana Chehrazi (5'9") - From Los Angeles, Ariana began rowing her junior year and made it to the USRowing Youth National Championship in her first season. In her senior year, rowing for the Marina Aquatic Center, she again made the trip to Cincinnati and earned silver in the varsity quad.
Rachel Clary (5'9") - Rachel rowed for Southgate Anderson in Michigan, both as stroke seat of the varsity boat and in the varsity double. She competed this summer with her team at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta.
Catherine Crowley (5'8") - As captain of the New York Rowing Association, Catherine not only raced in almost every class of boat (including the single, double, pair, and quad), she also served as an assistant coach for the novice squad.
Becca Heywood (5'10") - Becca comes to MIT from Colorado Junior Crew, where she won medals in several races, including a victory in the Head of the Oklahoma. While abroad in the Czech Republic her junior year she also put forth considerable effort to pursue her sport, despite a lack of support for women's rowing there.
Allison Hinckley (5'10") - Alison hails from Portland, Oregon, but studied at Choate Rosemary Hall. She was on both the varsity volleyball and rowing teams there, and rowed stroke seat of the varsity boat her senior year. During summers she trained with the Rose City Rowing Club back home.
Grace Lin (5'0") - A local from Newton, Grace was a coxswain for the Winsor School. Competition among coxswains there is very intense, and along with her familiarity with the Charles River she is well prepared to jump into a leadership position from day one.
Megan O'Donnell (5'7") - A native of Chicago, Megan rowed for Lincoln Park Juniors. This past spring she sat five seat of the varsity eight that was among the most competitive in program history, making it to the semi-final round of the USRowing Youth National Championship.
Tess Saxton-Fox (5'9") - From nearby Wayland, Tess competed for Wayland-Weston Crew. When she began it was a young, upstart team, and she helped bring it to two appearances at the USRowing Youth National Championship, rowing in the stern pair each time.
Allison Simi (5'7") - Coming from the Mercer Junior Rowing Club, Allison rowed in the top eight both her junior and senior year. She was captain of her team and named to the USRowing Scholastic Honor Roll. Last year her crew enjoyed much success, including a fourth place finish at the Head of the Charles.
Sarah Simon (5'9") - Sarah first learned to scull from her father at a young age and developed a smooth, natural stroke. She rowed throughout high school with the Wilmington Youth Rowing Association, and earned her Girl Scouts Gold Award by creating an historic archive for her boathouse.
Lauren Sless (5'6") - Rowing for Roland Park Country School in Maryland, Lauren made the varsity eight as a sophomore and earned the stroke seat by her junior year. She also doubled-up to race in the varsity four, which set the school record and raced to the semi-final round at the prestigious Stotesbury Cup.
Brianna Woeckener (5'7") - A member of the founding squad for Wappingers Crew in upstate New York, Brianna was a natural and quickly assumed the stroke seat. She acted as a leader on the team as it grew from fewer than 20 to over 80 athletes. Over the summer she competed with the Hudson River Rowing Association, placing second at the Empire State Games.