June 26, 2008
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's women's rowing team benefitted from an experienced crew in 2007-08, reaching a number of goals set in the preseason while continuing to establish its strong tradition on the water.
The performance of the Varsity 8 boat throughout the season was one of the top highlights for the Hawks. SJU achieved one of its primary goals to medal in the Atlantic 10 Championship, earning its first-ever medal in that event with a second-place finish. The crew was comprised of senior Liz Sauter, juniors Debbie Bateman, Lauren Sysol, and Samantha Wilson, sophomores Colleen Greway, Christina DiSanto and Andi Hartfield (cox), and freshmen Brianne Kammerman and Danielle Brady. That capped a strong performance at the A10s, as Saint Joseph's advanced every boat to the Grand Finals and earned medals in six of seven events.
The Varsity 8 also led the way at the Kelly Cup, as the Hawks captured that title, representative of the city championship, for the second year in a row. Saint Joseph's swept all of the races there (Freshman 4, Varsity 4, Freshman 8, 2nd Varsity 8 and the Varsity 8) for the first time in school history. And coupled with a strong performance by the Hawks' men's team, it marked the first time ever that both SJU Varsity 8 crews won their races in the same year.
The SJU women also swept all of the Eights at the early-season Jesuit Invitational on the Cooper River.
The Hawk freshmen had a strong campaign, going 9-1 during the season, which included a gold medal at the Atlantic 10 Championships. That crew was comprised of Clare Burns (cox), Christine Stopyra, Katie Herdmann, Ashley Wollman, Colleen Smith, Deanna Bigford, Juliet Lee, MaryCate Fox and Angela Acuna.
The Hawks held their own among the top-notch competition at the San Diego Crew Classic. The Freshman 8 placed second in the Petite Final while the Varsity 8 won the Third Final. The Varsity 8 faced some adversity in its first heat as Bateman's oar fell in the water. The junior dove into Mission Bay to eliminate the dead weight in the boat and the seven remaining Hawks put up a strong effort, recording the second fastest split in the final 500 meters, but couldn't make up the deficit. SJU closed out the season with another strong performance in the competitive field at the Dad Vail Regatta, as the Freshman 8 took the silver medal. The Hawks were the only women's team to reach the finals in the Varsity 8 (6th place), Second Varsity 8 (5th place) and Freshman 8.
"It was a solid year for us. Although we might not have achieved all of the results we wanted, but the fact that we placed all of our Eights in the Dad Vail finals shows the level that this program has reached. We will continue to set the bar high for our goals and expectations," said Quinlan. Sauter and Alicia Easby-Smith earned Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team honors while Bateman was a second-team selection, while Sauter was cited as the Hawks' Most Outstanding Performer.
The Hawks, who compiled a 3.3 grade-point average as a team, continue to be honored for their academic performance. Bateman led the way being chosen the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Women's Rowing Performer of the Year for the second straight year. She was also named the Atlantic 10 Women's Rowing Student-Athlete of the Year and selected to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District First Team. The junior was joined on the Inquirer's Academic All-Area Team by Kristen Bonnici, Greway and Caitlin Twaddell.