March 24, 2005
Providence, RI - Coming off its fifth National Title in the last nine years, the Brown women's crew team will look to defend its crown in 2005. The winningest program in NCAA history, Brown captured the 2004 NCAA Championship with wins in both the varsity and second varsity eight races. Entering his 21st year the helm, Head Coach John Murphy, along with Assistant Coach Phoebe Murphy, return five members to their varsity eight boat. A long list of freshmen have been added to the team as well, some of which could potentially earn a spot on the 2005 NCAA team.
Co-Captain Catherine Starr returns as the Bears' only senior from the 2004 NCAA Champion varsity eight. Starr raced in the second varsity eight during the regular season and was bumped up to varsity for Nationals. Senior co-captain Meaghan Kelly returns after winning gold at Nationals in the second varsity eight while seniors Megan Wachs and coxswain Alex Agloro also return for their final seasons at Brown.
Junior Deborah Dryer joins returning classmates Meg Anderson, Gilliam Almy and coxswain Mira Meta from the 2004 NCAA varsity eight. Mehta served as the Bears' coxswain at Nationals while Anderson sat in the seven seat and Almy in the bow. Sophomore Rachel Dearborn earned a spot in last year's NCAA varsity eight as a freshman after racing in the first novice eight during the regular season.
The second varsity eight will also be in strong contention for another gold medal at the NCAA Championships this season. Brown has won the last two NCAA second varsity titles. Juniors Caitlin Flynn, Maggie Cheney and Kaitlin Masarie all rowed in Brown's second varsity eight at the 2004 NCAA Championships. In the coming year competition will be tight for open spots in both the varsity and second varsity eights.
Last year's varsity four was a young but experienced crew. Despite having just one senior, coxswain Liza Aguiar, one sophomore and three freshmen, the Bears finished third at Nationals. Sophomore Daniella Priebatsch, stroked the boat while classmates Alex Hammer and Sarah Brooks held the number three and bow seat respectively. Katie Reynolds, now a junior, rowed in the two seat.
Other returning letter winners are juniors Sarah Bowman, Molly Brannan and Sasha Said. Both Bowman and Brannan rowed in the varsity four throughout last year's regular season. Sophomores Caitlin Cohen, Elizabeth Fison, Margaret Heidrick, Anna Hermann, Irene Kim, Jeannette Saraidaridis and Devorah West all return for their second season with the Bears. Marjorie Clapp, a sophomore at Brown and transfer student Kelley Whittbold, join the Brown crew this season.
Murphy, the 2004 NCAA Division I Coach of the Year, has led Brown to top three finishes at every NCAA Championship since the inaugural event in 1997. The Bears won the Collegiate National Championship in 1996 and NCAA Championships in 1999, 2000,