Nov. 26, 2012
DALLAS (SMU) - The SMU rowing program signed nine rowers and one coxswain to National Letters of Intent to compete at SMU starting in the 2012-13 season, head coach Doug Wright announced Monday.
"I am very excited with the athletes we signed for this early period. Our staff has done a great job of identifying this group and getting them on campus to see what our program is all about. That's a big step in the world of recruiting for rowing," Wright said. "Once here, many of them made a decision right away that SMU is the place for them to excel both in the classroom and on the water. They all have a clear understanding of what our goals are and what we're doing to accomplish them, and are equally as excited to be a part of that."
Marissa Jennings is a member of the swimming and softball teams at Summit High School in Summit, New Jersey. She competes in rowing with the Westfield Crew club, and led the Girls JV Quad to the semifinals at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, billed as the largest high school regatta in the world. She also competed at the C.R.A.S.H.-B. Sprints, an indoor rowing event at Boston University.
Lindsay Heyman led a quad from Port Rowing to a top-50 finish at the Head of the Charles in Boston, and won a silver medal with her coach in a collegiate pair race at a regatta in Philadelphia. A native of Great Neck, N.Y., Heyman attends Great Neck North High School.
Julia Neppl, a native of Alpharetta, Ga., is a member of the Saint Andrew Rowing Club and attends Blessed Trinity High School. She advanced to the semifinals in the Women's Junior A 2x at the US club national regatta in Cherry hill NJ last summer, finishing fifth overall.
Brittany Courteau, a native of West Allendale, Mich., attends the Culver Academies in Culver, Ind. A duel sport athlete, she stand 6-1 on skates and is both the captain and a defender on the Culver Academies varsity ice hockey team. In addition, she is the captain of the rowing team, pulling a 7:24 on her 2k and can row both disciplines of sweep and sculling. She also assists in coaching the novice women on her team.
Amanda Esposito, attends Berkeley Prep in Tampa, Fla. At 5'11 Amanda's team won the state championships for the third straight year in 2011 and the 15th time in the program's history. Her team went 30-2 and finished the season ranked No. 6 in the nation by MaxPreps. She led Berkeley Prep back to the state championship match as a senior in 2012. In rowing she trains and competes with the Tampa Rowing Club.
McKenzie Daly, a native of Plano, Texas, has been playing competitive volleyball at Plano Senior High for the last five years. Standing 6-1, her talent on the court drew the attention of a number of varsity collegiate programs but decided to turn down the offers and row. Her team made it all the way to the regional finals and finishing with a record of 33-12 and ranking No.5 in the state of Texas.
Savannah Moody is one of two signees from the Long Beach Junior Crew Club, joining Molly O'Connell, the lone coxswain in the signing class. Savannah, a native of Long Beach, Calif., and at 5-11, rows both sides of the shell and can scull, making her a valuable asset to the roster at SMU. She stroked the varsity 8+ that placed 26th out 85 crews at the 2012 Head of the Charles in Boston.
Molly O'Connell is a native of Seal Beach, Calif., and demonstrates a commanding voice and a competitive attitude that helped her men's lightweight 8+ to a first place at the Southwest Junior Regional Championship, which qualified them for the Youth National Championships where her crew took second place in the Lightweight 8+. This fall her crew placed 5th out of 85 teams at the Head of the Charles in Boston.
The Mustangs also added a pair of signees from Bainbridge High School in Bainbridge Island, Wash. Katrina Kerrigan led the Bainbridge Varsity 8+ to first place finishes at both the Windermere Cup in Seattle and at the Brentwood Regatta in British Columbia, Canada this past spring. Sydney Severson at 5-9 is relatively new to rowing. Last season, her novice 8+ took first at the Southwest Regional Championships. This past fall, she made the varsity 8+ that placed first in the Brentwood Regatta in Canada. Severson is also a standout basketball player at Bainbridge.
The SMU rowing team will start the 2013 spring season on March 9 against Creighton in Dallas at White Rock Lake.