Women's Rowing Finishes the Year Ranked 19th

Final CRCA/USRowing Poll

PHILADELPHIA - The College Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) and USRowing have come out with their final women’s rowing national poll for the 2008 season, and the Penn varsity eight placed 19th. The ranking marks the first time the Quakers have finished a season ranked since the poll began.

It was another notch on the belt for a varsity eight that made large strides this year. The women earned the program’s best finish at EAWRC Sprints since 1982, placing fifth overall; in fact, it was the first time the varsity eight made the grand final since 1991. The women also defended the Raritan Cup against Cornell and Rutgers during the regular season.

At the end of the season, five women earned regional honors -- senior Gracie Kaplan-Stein and junior Meg Gilley were first-team selections, while junior Kristen Haneman, freshman Rebecca Donald and freshman coxswain Carey Sloane were second-team honorees.

“Finishing in the top 20 is a huge step forward for our program,” said head coach Mike Lane, who finished his second season at the helm. “The disappointment of not making it to NCAA was tough, but after reflecting back on our season our athletes have nothing to be disappointed about. They helped change the history of our program. Our women have done things this year that have not been done in over 28 years!

“As we look forward, we are very excited to continue moving forward with the next step and competing at the highest level -- the NCAA Championships. The finish this spring has helped inspire and give our athletes the utmost confidence that they can be successful in the future.”

Yale received all 25 first-place votes and finished the year ranked No. 1. Stanford was second, followed by Brown University and the University of California.