BUFFALO, NY – University at Buffalo rowing head coach Rudy Wieler has announced that 13 student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent to attend UB and compete on the rowing team.
"Overall, I think we have added some good depth," Wieler said. "We've added a number of athletes ready to step into our varsity program."
The Bulls signed four rowers to compete with the Lightweights - Margaret Lawn (Orlando, FL/Winter Park), Katherine Coffin (Pleasant Valley, NY/Our Lady of Lourdes), Haley Bryk (Latham, NY/Shaker) and McKenzie Kern (Mechanicsburg, PA/Cumberland Valley).
Lawn rowed in the Winter Park Lightweight 8. They placed first at the Florida State Championships, second at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta and third at the US Scholastic Nationals.
Coffin rowed in the Lightweight 4+ boat. They won the silver medal at the New York State Championships, the bronze medal at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta and placed fourth at the US Scholastic Nationals.
Byrk rowed in the senior squad. They placed third at the New York State Championships and made it to the semifinals at the US Scholastic Nationals.
"Lawn, Coffin & Bryk come from extremely competitive programs and have the kind of racing experience we need to take this program to the next level," UB Lightweight coach Kerri Kanaley said.
Kern has never rowed, but is an accomplished student athlete. She played soccer and rugby at Cumberland Valley High School.
"Although Kern has not rowed before, I instantly knew upon meeting her that with her athleticism, she would be a great addition to our lightweight team," Kanaley said.
The Bulls signed nine rowers in the open weights, including Emily Glasgow (Kenmore, NY/Mount St. Mary's), Stephanie Iannacchino (St. Catharines, Ontario/Governor Simcoe), Alyssa Gabel (Fairport, NY/Fairport), Jessica Levy (Little Neck, NY/Benjamin Cardozo), Melissa Ward (Woodbridge, VA/Woodbridge), Katharine Boniello (Poughkeepsie, NY/Arlington), Holly Ross (Skaneateles, NY/Skaneateles), Bridget Whalen (Amherst, NY/Amherst) and Jordyn Phillips (Hamburg, NY/Orchard Park).
Glasgow rowed for the West Side Rowing Club. A coxswain, she helped lead the Thunder to state championships in 2007, 2009 and 2010. Glasgow competed in the Royal Canadian Henley five straight years and rowed at the U.S. Rowing Youth Nationals in 2009 and 2010 and the U.S. Rowing Club Nationals in 2010.
"Emily comes to us with a wealth of experience and a strong racing background. She is a very determined and hard worker who wants to become a first varsity coxswain," Weiler said.
Iannacchino rowed for Governor Simcoe. She was a member of a boat that finished second in the 63kg 8 at the Canadian Scholastic Nationals, first in the Senior 8 at the Mother's Day Regatta and first in the Senior 8 at the John Bennett Invitational.
"Stephanie is a good technician. She has been in some successful crews in St. Catharines," Wieler said. "She was in the top junior boat. She has small boat rowing experience and should fit in well at UB."
Gabel rowed for Rochester Navy. She helped lead the Navy to a sixth place finish at the Canadian Henley.
"Alyssa has been a consistent quiet leader in her program. She possesses the size, erg score and determination to work her way towards being a strong varsity candidate," Wieler said.
Levy attended Benjamin Cardozo High School and rowed for Row New York. She finished third in the 3v 4+ at the Mercer/ISA Championships and fifth in the second JV 4+ in the Long Island Championships. She earned the Captain's Award for Row New York in 2011.
"Jessica has good size and has a good erg score," Wieler said. "She needs to grow technically and should benefit from the challenges our rowing program presents."
Ward rowed for Woodbridge High School where she took fifth at US Scholastic Nationals and first in the Virginia State Championships.
"Melissa is tall and lanky. She has worked hard at getting her erg score down," Wieler said. "She comes from a successful high school program and should adjust well to rowing in a Division I program."
Boniello coxed the Varsity 8 and Second Varsity 4+ for Hudson River Rowing. She won the Outstanding Rower Award for the Varsity 4+.
"Katharine has some good experience and should give us depth as she evolves in the program," Wieler said.
Ross hasn't rowed before, but was a Victory Sports Medicine and Orthopedics Scholar Athlete for both swimming and basketball at Skaneateles Central High School.
"Holly is a good athlete and she is excited about trying Division I rowing," Wieler said.
Whalen rowed for the West Side Rowing Club. She was a member of a boat that finished second in the Senior 8 at the West Side All High.
"Bridget is a strong rower with a good erg score," Wieler said. "She has a good work ethic and a good attitude."
Phillips attended Orchard Park High School and rowed for the West Side Rowing Club. She did not row in the spring due to an injury.
"Jordan has a very lengthy history of rowing and wants to try Division I rowing," Wieler said.
After winning the Colonial Athletic Association in 2010, the Bulls finished second in the CAA last season with a very young squad. Wieler thinks his team learned a lot from last year and is eager to get back to their championship-winning form.
"We learned how to lose and the kids didn't like it," Wieler said. "I think it has made them hungry to get back to a winning season."