Westwood, MA --- WPI's Jason Steele has been selected as the NEWMAC Rowing Coach of the Year, as announced Tuesday afternoon. It is Steele's third such honor as he was feted in 2011 and 2013. Co-captain Eva Barinelli (Tewksbury, MA) was named as the Engineers' NEWMAC All-Sportsmanship team honoree.
Following the NEWMAC Championship on Saturday, Kinsey McNamara (Chelmsford, MA) was honored as the NEWMAC Rower of the Year and Madison Healey (Atkinson, NH) was honored as the NEWMAC Coxswain of the Year. McNamara, a four time honoree, and Healey, who had been the second team coxswain in 2017 and 2018, were joined on the NEWMAC All-Conference first team by Barinelli and three-time selection Christine Hovermale (Alameda, CA).
The WPI varsity eight is undefeated this spring, including a nail-biter versus defending national champion, and then-No. 1, Bates on April 14. The Engineers took back the Jennifer McLaughlin Cup versus Smith, Wesleyan and Colby for the first time since 2011 in the spring opener. A week later, WPI knocked off Williams to deny the Ephs a 15th-consecutive win in the Donahue Cup. The Sunday prior to the varsity eight hoisting the NEWMAC trophy for the first time following a close race with Wellesley, WPI earned the Bernie Brown Cup for the second consecutive year versus Tufts.
The Crimson and Gray also bested 11 of the 13 other varsity eights in the CRCA/USRowing Top 15 with the exceptions of west-coast based No. 10 Pacific Lutheran, who made the trek to Lake Quinsigamond last year, and No. T-11 Puget Sound. WPI has defeated No. 9 William Smith three times, and No. 5 Smith, No. 6 Wellesley, No. 7 Hamilton, No. 14 Colby and No. 15 Mount Holyoke, as well as Washington College, Trinity and Clark, who are all receiving votes, twice. In addition to Skidmore, another eight receiving votes, and Bates, the Engineers have a win over No. 3 Ithaca, No. 4 Wesleyan, No. 8 Williams, No. T-11 Tufts and No. 13 RIT.
During the fall portion of the campaign, the Engineers placed third at the venerable Head of the Charles behind Bates and Williams. The Boynton Hillers, who once again earned gold at the Quinsigamond Snake Regatta, were just over a second behind Division I Connecticut in the opener at the Head of the Riverfront.
The second varsity eight, meanwhile, is 28-4 thus far in 2019 including with three each over at Clark and Colby. The crew also bested Smith, Wellesley, Hamilton, William Smith, Mount Holyoke, Washington College and Trinity twice, and Ithaca and RIT once. In terms of the NCAA regional rankings, Washington College is the top 2V in the Mid-Atlantic while Ithaca, Hamilton and RIT are the top three second varsity eights on the New York scroll.
The NCAA-bound (May 31-June 1) Engineers face tough tests on their home course with the New England Rowing Championships on Saturday, May 4 and the National Invitational Rowing Championships on Sunday, May 12.