PHILADELPHIA - Head Coach Nick Baker announced the incoming Class of 2016 for the University of Pennsylvania men's lightweight rowing team on Thursday. There are 13 committed members in the recruiting class with each bringing a very high level of rowing experience to the Schuylkill River.
"I am very excited about the 13 members of the Class of 2016," Baker said. "They are each athletically gifted on the water and strong academic leaders off of it. Each one of them has the potential to make a huge impact on our program, our University and our community during their careers here at Penn."
Two different countries and six different states are represented in the Class of 2016, led by three apiece from New York, Pennsylvania and Florida. California, New Jersey and Ohio are also represented among the incoming freshmen. One recruit, Jack Bannenberg, hails from outside the U.S. borders as a native of London, England.
Below is an in-depth look at each of the 13 soon-to-be Quakers.
Hometown: London, England
High School: Westminster School
Coach: Bill Mason
Rowing Highlights: Great Britain Coxless Pair at the Coupe de la Jeunesse, Austria in 2011 ... National Schools Champions 2010 in the quad ... Won junior quads in the Fullers Fours Head of the River in 2010 ... Won quad championship at the 2011 Schools Head of the River.
Why I chose to come to Penn: "I love the feel of Penn as it gives me an Ivy League education right in the middle of Philadelphia. I was really impressed by the setup that Coach Baker has in place and I get to row out of Boathouse Row."
Hometown: Manhasset, N.Y.
High School: Manhasset High School
Coach: Chris Mare
Rowing Highlights: Qualified for Lightweight 8 at 2010 USRowing Youth Nationals ... Bronze medal at New York States in the Hwt 4 category in 2012.
Why I chose Penn: "I chose Penn because of the opportunities that I will have there, and because of the friendly community."
Thomas J. (TJ) Garrity
Hometown: Collingswood, N.J.
High School: St. Joseph's Preparatory School
Coach: Jim Glavin
Rowing Highlights: Undefeated 2011 & 2012 season's including two Stotesbury Cup championships and two SRAA national championships in the men's varsity lightweight eight ... Selected as a 2011-2012US Rowing Scholastic Honor Roll Athlete.
Why I Chose Penn: "I chose Penn to be a part of what I consider to be the best University in the country andalso tobe part of Penn Rowing, whom I have watched on my home river for four years."
Hometown: Orlando, Fla.
High School: Edgewater High School
Coach: Brad Arnold
Rowing Highlights: 2010 Florida State Championship Lightweight Eight ... 2010 Stotesbury Lightweight Eight Finalist.
Why I chose Penn: "Penn has a great dedication to interdisciplinary education and unmatched community involvement. I'm very excited to continue my rowing and educational career at Penn next year."
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
High School/Club: St. Xavier/ Cincinnati Juniors
Coach: Greg Hull
Rowing Highlights: Stroked 2011 Youth Nationals Grand Final in the MV8+ ... 2011-12 Team Captain.
Why I chose Penn: "I chose Penn because of the perfect blend between city and school, the sense of community, and the opportunity to compete and win on the Division I level at an EARC school, all while receiving a great education."
Hometown: Boca Raton, Fla.
High School: Pine Crest School
Coach: Steven Casey
Rowing Highlights: Stroked 2012 Silver medal SRAA lightweight 8 ... Won lightweight 2x at Florida States.
Why I chose Penn: "Penn has everything I want and more: amazing business and engineering programs, an on-the-rise crew team with a rich history on the world famous Boathouse Row."
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
High School: Belen Jesuit Prep
Coach: Yunian Cabrera
Rowing Highlights: Gold in the 2012 Florida erg sprints men's lightweight race ... Gold at 2012 States in the men's 4x ... Placed fourth at the 2012 SanDiego Crew Classic in the men's lightweight 8+ ... Gold at 2011 States in the men's pair, and Bronze at Scholastic Nationals in Men's lightweight 8+ ... Gold at 2009 States and Silver at Scholastic Nationals in Freshman 8+.
Why I chose Penn: "I chose Penn because it has an atmosphere that made me feel very at home, and a student body that is extremely proud of theirschool. The students at Penn seem to have a sense of community that I really did not see anywhere else. Also, Penn is a school thatwill allow me to broaden my education with a wide range of courses. The curriculum at Penn allows me to explore different fieldsthat I have never considered before."
Hometown: Mount Bethel, Pa.
High School: Blair Academy
Coach: Hans Doerr, Camden Place
Rowing Highlights: First place in the Junior 4 Stotesbury Cup ... Fifth place in 2011 Crash B's Junior Lwt category ... Third Place at Founders Regatta in 2011 ... Placed 13th at Youth Nationals in 2011 ... Junior Elite for Vesper Boat Club ... Also ran cross country and played basketball.
Why I chose Penn: "I chose Penn because I felt a hunch the instant I stepped on campus that Penn would be the place to suit both my academic and athletic interests. Even beyond the academic and athletic pursuits, I know Penn will be a place I can grow as a person."
Hometown: Ronkonkoma, N.Y.
High School: Chaminade
Coach: John Callinan, Larry Muri and Terence Fitzgibbon
Rowing Highlights: Stroked fourth-place heavyweight varsity 8 at 2012 Stotesbury Cup ... 2011 national champion in the men's second 8+ ... Second place at 2010 Stotesbury Cup and SRAA Nations in men's junior 8+ ... Placed 13th in men's youth 4+ at 2010 Head of the Charles ... Placed 12th in men's youth 8+ at 2011 Head of the Charles.
Why I chose Penn: "I chose Penn because of the incredible campus and location, the rich history of rowing - both with the school and on the Schuylkill River - and the excellent coaching staff. Everyone I met at Penn made me feel at home."
Hometown: Piedmont, Calif.
High School: Piedmont High School / Oakland Strokes
Coach: Dameon Engblom
Rowing Highlights: Second at SDCC in 2011 ... Second at Long Beach in Lightweight 4+ ... Second at 2010 Southwest Junior Regional Championships JV 8+ in 2010 ... Third at 2010 Southwest Junior Regional Championships in Ltwt 8+ ... Also played baseball.
Why I chose Penn: "Penn is a unique combination of an amazing Ivy League education in the heart of a vibrant city. The second I saw the Schuylkill and Boathouse Row I knew Penn was special and that something felt right. Everything on my visit made me believe Penn was a place where I could succeed and be incredibly happy, and the coaching staff was helpful and encouraging throughout the whole process."
Hometown: Manhasset, N.Y.
High School: Manhasset
Coach: Chris Mare
Rowing Highlights: Third at Stotesbury Cup Ltwt 4 ... First at Youth Nationals (B Finals) Ltwt 4.
Why I chose Penn: "Penn has such a rich history that it is constantly building upon with academic innovations and athletic prowess, producing some of the best America has to offer. Making the choice to be part of that community was really a no-brainer. It's an exhilarating feeling you get, being part of that elaborate, organic machinery that propels the boat across the finish line first. Pursuing that feeling as part of the Penn crew team is going to be an amazing experience I cannot wait to have."
Hometown: Prospect Park, Pa.
High School: Roman Catholic
Coach: Roger Ross
Rowing Highlights: Third Place V4x at 2011 SRAA Nationals and Philadelphia City Championships ... First place at 2009 Independence Day Regatta Junior B 2x.
Why I Chose Penn: "Penn is the best school in one of the best cities in the country. I believe it will give me the opportunity to achieve my full potential both academically and athletically."
Alex Weinrich (coxswain)
Hometown: Willow Grove, Pa.
High School: La Salle College High School
Coach: Bill Lamb/Tom Madden
Rowing Highlights: Silver Stotesbury Cup 2009 ... USRowing Jr. National Development Camp ... Under-23 Penn AC Team.
Why I Chose Penn: "I chose Penn because Philadelphia is the epicenter of national rowing and Penn provides an unmatchedcombination of academics and rowing."