PHILADELPHIA - The Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) announced its post season awards on Tuesday. Eight members of the Penn women’s rowing team and assistant coach Anne Kakela all received recognition.
The All-Region awards recognize the outstanding performances of rowers from each of the five Division I regions, organized into first and second-team selections. Valerie Hutchins and Gracie Kaplan-Stein were named first-team, while Kara Ellison and Iska Hain earned second-team.
Penn joins Bucknell and Princeton as the only schools in the Mid-Atlantic region to have four student-athletes selected.
Last year, Maura Kelley (first-team) and Libby Mulligan (second-team) garnered the honors. Kelley went on to receive CRCA First-Team Division I All-America honors.
Jessica Bartos, Anne-Marie Beitler, Laura Fox and Kathryn Purdy were named CRCA Scholar-Athletes. To be considered, student-athletes must be at least a sophomore, have a minimum 3.5 GPA and must have competed in 75 percent of their team’s races.
Beitler becomes the third Penn rower to receive the honor twice, joining Sarah Jane Irwin and Susan Francia. Just a junior, next season Beitler could join Irwin as the only rowers in Penn history to receive the honor three times.
Rounding out the awards for Penn was Kakela, the first-year assistant and head freshman coach, was named Mid-Atlantic Region Assistant Coach of the Year. She saw both her Freshman 8 and Second Freshman 8 take home medals at the EAWRC Sprints. The Second Freshman 8 accomplished quite a feat by winning a gold medal and Penn’s first Eastern Sprints Championship since 1983. The Freshman 8 won the silver medal by finishing second to a dominant Brown crew in the Grand Final, coming in at 7:03.769. This marks the second time in her career that Kakela received assistant coach of the year honors. In 2005 she was named Northwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year at Oregon State.