Georgetown Women's Lightweight Crew Completes Best Season in Program History
June 9, 2006
Washington, D.C. - The Georgetown women's lightweight program took a major stride as they continue to solidify their standing among the elite rowing programs in the country. After three straight years of looking up at Wisconsin, Princeton and Radcliffe and placing fourth at both the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) and Eastern Women's Sprint Championships, the Hoyas broke the mold and took home medals in both events.
Dating back to the 2000 season, no school aside from Princeton, Radcliffe and Wisconsin had medaled at either of the two major collegiate championships. However, Georgetown overcame early season injuries and struggles to finish third at the Eastern Sprints and then close out the year with a second place showing at the IRAs, their best finish in both championships. Based on their late season success, the Hoyas will finish No. 2 in the final USRowing Collegiate Coaches Poll, setting a new standard for the 10-year-old program.
"The IRA was the culmination of nine months of very hard work," said lightweight varsity coach Jim O'Connor. "The result is a direct reflection of this team's work ethic, commitment and sacrifice during the year."
Entering the season, the Hoyas faced many question marks, including returning only three members of last year's crew and adjusting to a new coach. In the four events leading up to the Eastern Sprints, Coach O'Connor went with a different lineup for each one, finding mixed results. Despite not accomplishing the results they had hoped, the team continued to work hard and battle through the difficult times, led by senior co-captains Caitlin McKenna (Wynnewood, Pa./Episcopal Academy) and Lauren Smeeding (Buffalo, N.Y./Nardin).
Prior to the last two regattas, Georgetown failed to finish ahead of Princeton, Radcliffe or Wisconsin all season, finishing behind the trio at the Knecht Cup and in three individual dual meets. On May 14, the Hoyas broke through for the first time, topping Princeton by almost seven seconds to take the bronze at the Eastern Sprints. Three weeks later, they made another leap, bettering both Radcliffe and Princeton to claim the silver at the IRAs, this time less than four seconds behind Wisconsin for the title.
The crew for both regattas consisted of sophomore Kristin Jasiukiewcz (Huntingdon Valley, Pa./Mount St. Joseph Academy) at the bow, McKenna, senior Jennifer Stokes (San Ysidro, Calif./Southwest), classmate Jane Hendrick (Solomons, Md./Patuxent), freshman Samantha Miller (San Francisco, Calif./St. Ignatius College Preparatory), sophomore Maria Lipperini (Collingswood, N.J./Bishop Eustace Preparatory) and junior Marcy Hupp (Kansas City, Mo./St. Teresa's Academy) in positions two through seven, junior Lauren Moldower (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville) at the stroke and freshman Liz Kucharczyk (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) as the coxswain.