PHILADELPHIA - The Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) has announced its Division I All-America and All-Region teams for 2011, as well as its National Scholar Athletes, and three Penn women were honored.
For All-America and All-Region recognition, nominated student-athletes are evaluated on the strength of their team's regional finish, coaches recommendations and 2,000-meter erg score. Nominees must be eligible student-athletes who have competed in their team's varsity boat in 75 percent of races this season.
Senior Rebecca Donald was named a second-team All-America, becoming just the third CRCA Division I All-America in program history with Maura Kelley (first-team in 2006) and Valerie Hutchins (second-team in 2007). Donald also earned first-team All-Region honors, while junior Kelly Burke was a second-team honoree for the second straight year. For Donald, it marked the first time she has earned first-team regional recognition, but she was a perfect 4-for-4 in receiving CRCA regional honors during her career (she was a second-team pick from 2008 to 2010). Donald is the first Penn rower to earn all-region honors all four years with the program.
Both women were a part of Penn's varsity eight this year, which finished ninth at EAWRC Sprints after compiling a 6-4 head-to-head record during the Cup season. That included bringing home the Orange Challenge Cup for the first time since 1995, after Penn's varsity eight defeated host Northeastern and Syracuse.
Another member of the program, sophomore Cassi Henderson, was named a CRCA Scholar Athlete. Henderson rowed in Penn's varsity four at Sprints, helping that boat place fourth overall. In order to be eligible for Scholar Athlete recognition, a student-athlete must have a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher for her career, and have competed in an NCAA-eligible boat for 75 percent of her team's races that season or in Sprints.