WORCESTER – Junior Sarah St. Pierre (Maynard, MA) and sophomore Ally Sichler (Reading, PA) earned the team's NERC All-Scholar award while St. Pierre also headlined a dozen WPI women's rowing student-athletes that repeated as an NIRC All-Academic Team honoree, as announced by USRowing. In all, 16 members of the team were recognized following the May regattas. Of the 16, nine were also lauded by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA).
Seniors Alexandra Connor (Baldwinsville, NY) and Abby Sawyer (Uxbridge, MA) collected their second consecutive NIRC honor, as did juniors Eva Barinelli (Tewksbury, MA), Madeline Burke (Verona, NJ), Diana Celaj (Worcester, MA), Madison Healey (Atkinson, NH), Catherine Matyas (Glastonbury, CT), Rachel Peterson (Hastings, MN), Paula Sardi (Cali, Colombia), Mary Sheehan (Huntington, NY), St. Pierre and Marlies de Jong (Huntington Beach, CA). Sichler was joined by fellow sophomores Josephine Bowen (Lunenburg, MA), Christine Hovermale (Alameda, CA) and Olivia Kiristis (Upton, MA).
The NERC All-Scholar award recognizes the student-athlete from each program that holds the highest cumulative grade point average. For a student-athlete to be recognized to the NIRC All-Academic Team they must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.35 and be recognized as a varsity letter winner. Freshmen and first-year transfers are not eligible for either award.
Barinelli, Burke, Celaj and Connor achieved a cumulative 3.5 GPA or better for the second consecutive year and were joined on the CRCA list by Bowen, de Jong, Healey, Hovermale and Kiristis. In addition to academics, honorees met all eligibility rules as defined by WPI, was in her second, third, or fourth year of eligibility, rowed in WPI's NCAA eligible boat(s) for a minimum of 75 percent of the current spring races or competed in a regional conference event.
The varsity eight, featuring Barinelli, Healey, de Jong and Hovermale, and the second varsity eight featuring Connor, Sawyer, Burke, Celaj, Bowen and Kiristis, finished third and fifth, respectively, as the team placed third during the program's first NCAA Division III Championships appearance May 25-26. WPI has been led by Jason Steele since being elevated to varsity status for the 1999-2000 season. The coaching staff also currently boasts Pat Guida (WPI '83), Martha Strom, Paul Berube and Elizabeth Crowley.