Men's Rowing Spring Preview (with Video)
CHESTERTOWN, MD -- Call it a new, but welcome, challenge for the two-time defending Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC) Champion Washington College men's rowing team and the three-time defending MARC Men's Coach of the Year John Leekley. This year's Shoremen are quite young, with a total of just six juniors and seniors on the roster, but that doesn't mean the Shoremen shouldn't be favored to win their third straight conference title. With their second consecutive large and talented freshman class, the Shoremen may simply be reloading, not rebuilding.
Peer leadership of this year's young team falls to the Shoremen's two captains - senior Sean Harrison (Richmond, VA/Hazelton Area [PA]) and junior coxswain Jeff Nutting (Catonsville, MD/Mount St. Joseph). Harrison returns from the winning first varsity eight at the 2011 MARC Championships. Nutting, meanwhile, is the team's most veteran coxswain and drove the winning second varsity eight at last year's MARC Championships.
Joining Harrison as the team's only other senior is Miqdad Annab (Mechanicsburg, PA/Cumberland Valley), who was named the Shoremen's Most Improved Rower a year ago after spending time in both of the team's top two eights. Juniors Robert Storck (Wilton, CT/St. Mark's School [MA]) and Parker McIntosh (Berlin, MD/Worcester Prep) return from last year's winning first varsity eight at the MARC Championships. Storck was named to the 2011 All-MARC Team. Junior Dale Frymark (Gambrills, MD/Arundel) is in his first year of collegiate rowing and competed in novice boats in the fall.
Among the Shoremen's top returning sophomores this spring is Conor Howlett (Tampa, FL/H.B. Plant), who was a part of last year's winning first varsity eight at the MARC Championships. Sophomores Dominic DiMarino (Wilmington, DE/Concord), Anthony Cairo (Port Murray, NJ/Warren Hills), and Max Villa (Great Meadws, NJ/Pope John XXIII) followed up solid novice seasons with consistent appearances in top varsity boats during the fall head-racing season. Coxswains Chris Moylan (Silver Spring, MD/DeMatha) and Rebecca Wozniak (Mt. Airy, MD/South Carroll) drove varsity boats this fall. Rob Billings (Easton, MD/Easton), Chris Carrara (Leesburg, NJ/Millville), and Jack McCarthy (Long Beach Island, NJ/The Hun School) complete the sophomore class.
Of the Shoremen's 11 freshmen, five raced together in the winning frosh/novice fours at this fall's Frostbite and Bill Braxton Memorial Regattas - coxswain Christie Phebus (Trappe, MD/Easton), Ian Briggs (Huntsville, AL/The Gow School [NY]), Andy Sauthoff (Baltimore, MD/Perry Hall), Tyler Skibicki (Wilmington, DE/Concord), and Brian Zohorsky (Ellicott City, MD/Mt. Hebron). Coxswain Jill Gobrecht (Hanover, PA/South Western), Jack Christ (Hydes, MD/Jemicy Upper School), Ben Sproule (Princeton, NJ/Princeton), Andrew Wallhauser (Fairhaven, NJ/Rumson-Fair Haven Regional), and Stanley Warrington (Milford, DE/Milford) raced in other novice boats in the fall. Two-sport athlete James Ray (Timonium, MD/Towson) joins the team after his first season of collegiate swimming.
Leekley is joined by first-year novice coach Brendan Cunningham on the coaching staff. The Shoremen's spring racing season begins March 24th at the Murphy Cup. The Shoremen will host the Washington College Invitational the following weekend before heading to Philadelphia for a regatta against Philadelphia University and Villanova a week later. The second weekend in April will find the Shoremen at the Knecht Cup, while the third pits them against some of New England's finest crews at the Worcester Invitational. The 2012 MARC Championships will be held April 28th with the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta taking place May 11th and 12th.