Lightweights Announce Nine Commitments to Class of 2014

PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania men's lightweight rowing team announced the incoming Class of 2014 on Wednesday. There are nine committed members of the class with each having a very high level of rowing experience.

"We wanted to make a statement with our first recruiting class as to the changes that are underway with the University of Pennsylvania lightweight rowing team, and that's exactly what we feel we have accomplished," head coach Nick Baker said of the nine commitments he has received in his first year at the helm of the Quakers. "Coach Hayburn and I are thrilled with the guys that have committed, and we feel they will each help us on our way back to being a competitive force in the Sprints league."

Here is an in-depth look at each of the nine soon-to-be Quakers.

Jack Howerton

Height: 6'2"

High School: Salisbury School

Rowing Highlights:
2nd in the Southwest Regional's light 4+ (2008)

2nd San Diego Crew Classic in the light 8+ (2008)

9th at Youth Nationals in the Junior 4+ (2008)

Why he chose Penn:
"I chose Penn for its outstanding academics, great student body, and location in Philadelphia. During my visit, I felt very much at home among the student body and within the circle of lightweight rowers."

Alexander Klein
Height: 6'1"
High School: Scarsdale High School

Rowing Highlights:
Rowing for the Pelham Community Rowing Association sweep program

Participated in the Stanford Rowing Camp

Trained with elite members of the NYAC

Other Athletic Highlights:
Participated in the USA Hockey Championship (2007)

Two-time winner of the New York State Hockey Championship

Winner of the Northeast Regional Championship (USA Hockey)

Three-year high school varsity hockey player

Hockey night in Boston Invitational Showcase - Four-time participant

Played for Team Rangers - Chosen for a select team sponsored by the New York Rangers to play similar teams from Montreal, Quebec

Why he chose Penn:
"I chose Penn because, in my opinion, it has the best combination of academics, athletics and school spirit of any of the Ivy League. The athletes on the team were very close and I really enjoyed being at Penn during my visit. Most importantly, I felt more comfortable at Penn than any other school that I visited."

Scott Myslinski
Height: 5'10"
School: Bromfield School (CRI)

Rowing Highlights:
Stroking the lightweight 8 that won the silver at Club Nationals (2009)

Captain of CRI and high school team

Why he chose Penn:
"I chose Penn because of the academic excellence and opportunities it offers as a diverse university in a big city. I also like Coach Baker and his plans for the program. Finally, the quality of life at the school is great - all of the students seemed very happy."

Zackary Seigel
Height: 5'11"
High School: La Salle College High School

Rowing Highlights:
2nd in the lightweight 8 at SRAA (2008)

Qualified for the finals at Canadian Henley in the junior 8 (2008)

CRASH-B's 11th in the junior lightweight (2009)

CRASH-B's 25th in the open lightweight (2010)

Why he chose Penn:
"First, I chose Penn because I want to be a part of a lightweight rowing program that is on the upswing and shows a great amount of promise for the upcoming seasons. Also, I chose Penn because I love Philadelphia, and I love rowing on the Schuylkill River. I have spent my whole rowing career on the Schuylkill and wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Lastly, I chose Penn because it has great Dental School."

Eric Sezgen
Height: 6'1"
School: Piedmont High School (Oakland Strokes)

Why he chose Penn:
"When I saw the campus, I noticed it coherently fused modern and classic, both aesthetically and in attitude. Penn balances the best of all worlds, be it tradition and innovation, athletics and academics, and the competitive nature of the Ivy League with a communal and friendly student body. I knew that it was where I belonged. It's where I believe I can best continue to reach the goals I have set for myself."

Sam Shaw
Height: 6'3"
School: Berkeley High School

Rowing Highlights:

Team captain for the past two years.

Why he chose Penn:
"I chose Penn because it fit. I visited the school and I knew immediately that this was my college. I was attracted to the city of Philadelphia, the academic excellence, the beautiful tree-filled campus, and the all-around welcoming atmosphere. The fact that it's a great place to row tops it all off."

Sam Shepherd
Height: 6'1"
High School: Winchester High School (CRI)

Rowing Highlights:
2nd place in the Intermediate Lightweight 8 at Club Nationals (2009)

6th place in the Junior 8 at the Head of the Charles (2009)

Why he chose Penn:
"After I visited Penn last summer it became my first choice for college. The campus feel within a large city was really appealing to me. The size was also very important to me; the Penn community has just enough people to offer new things everyday, but at the same time, it isn't overwhelming. The academics were obviously a major draw. Finally, I wanted to be a part of the Penn lightweight team because it is just getting a fresh start and I want to be able to contribute to its future success."

Charles Shoener
Height: 6'0"
School: Philips Andover

Rowing Highlights:

Winning the NEIRA 2nd boat race (2009)

Why he chose Penn:
"I chose Penn because of the diversity of the courses and the ability of the students to take courses across a wide array of fields. The long-storied history of rowing at Penn was the other major selling point. I'm excited about being in the Wharton School of Business and the opportunities that it holds upon graduation."

Terence (T.J.) Smith
Height: 6'1.5"
High School: Lawrenceville School

Rowing Highlights:

Team Captain (senior)

Other Athletic Highlights:

Varsity Cross Country (3 years)

Why he chose Penn:
"The academic opportunities were the first reason that I chose Penn, notably, the appeal of Wharton. The rowing team was a tight-knit group and highly-motivated. The coaches demand discipline in all aspects of rowing, where Coach Baker emphasized the irreplaceable value of raw hard work. This is closely followed by the appeal of rowing out of Boathouse Row, which is in very close proximity to campus. Penn has a long tradition of excellence, historic on-campus facilities, including Franklin Field and The Palestra, and tangible excitement leading up to and during competitions. Finally, it is located in Philadelphia, one of the best cities in the United States."