University of Minnesota rowing coach Wendy Davis has announced that five athletes have signed National Letters of Intent. Tabitha Andelin (Arlington, Va.), Jaime Friscia (West Windsor, N.J.), Lynn Hodnett (St. Paul, Minn.), Jackie Stein (Mequon, Wis.) and Anna Swanson (Amherst, Mass.) have all signed and will join the Golden Gopher program next fall.
"We are pleased with our incoming class of 2015,” Davis said. “Each will contribute in her own way to our strength and depth in the coming years. Lynn and Anna are relative newcomers to the sport but are very fit and very competitive. Tabitha and Jaime have more racing experience which will come in handy especially the first year as they help guide the newer collegiate rowers. And Jackie will contribute right away from the coxswain seat. I am sure we will count her as "worth her weight in gold"."
After moving from California to Yorktown, Va., Andelin joined the Yorktown High School rowing team in 2009. In her first year with the Second Varsity eight she also received the 2009 Yorktown Crew Coaches Award. In just her second year rowing with Yorktown, Andelin moved up to the First Varsity Eight and was named the team’s Most Valuable Rower in 2010. She helped her boat to an eighth-place finish at nationals last year. In January, Andelin won the mixed relay at the 2010 Mid Atlantic Erg Sprints in Alexandria, Va. She was also chosen and participated in the Junior B sculling camp in June of 2009 at Occaquan, Va. The daughter of Elizabeth and Roger Andelin, Tabitha will graduate from high school this spring with honors as she entered her senior season with a 3.9 grade point average.
“I chose Minnesota for many reasons,” Andelin said. “I was impressed with the rowing program and the school's commitment to the sport. I liked the coaching style and the training facilities. I really liked the people I met and the environment at the school. The school also has a variety of majors that look interesting to me in the business school and design school. And lastly, I wanted to be near a big city.”
Friscia will come to Minnesota after a successful time with the Mercer Junior Rowing Club. In 2009, Friscia’s Varsity Four boat won the Northeast Mid-Atlantic Regional when she sat bow and finished second at the 2009 USRowing Youth National Championship. In Varsity Eight competition, she helped the boat finish second and third overall at the Mercer Lake Sprints in 2008 and 2009. Along with rowing, Friscia played basketball. The daughter of Rich and Barb Friscia, she will graduate from West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South in the spring of 2011. She plans to major in fisheries and wildlife management.
“I chose University of Minnesota because I like the feel that comes with a large campus,” Friscia said. “I will have the opportunity to spend a lot of time on the smaller, quiet St Paul campus for the wildlife & fisheries major. I got to see the incredible opportunities the program has to offer and the reputation that comes with the University of Minnesota. Also I loved the intensity of the women’s crew team, their camaraderie and the direction and vision the coaches are taking the team. Also where else could I row seeing a bald eagle soaring next to me? I am excited to become a part of this program!”
Hodnett comes to the Minnesota program with solid rowing experience in a short amount of time. Rowing with the St. Paul Rowing Club, Hodnett has competed at events such as the Head of the Charles, at North West International Rowing Association events, the Head of the Rock and the Head of the Mississippi. At the 2010 Head of the Charles, Hodnett placed 16th in the juniors women’s four race, while following up with a fourth-place finish at Head of the Rock and first at the Head of the Mississippi. She also won the individual 2k race at the Minnesota Indoor Rowing Championships for the novice category in 2010. Along with her rowing accomplishments, Hodnett is an all-conference honorable mention in softball and will graduate from St. Paul Central in 2011. The daughter of Dean and Theresa Hodnett, Lynn plans to major in biological science.
“It was obvious to me that I could be a successful student-athlete at Minnesota,” Hodnett said. “Not only am I going to receive a top notch education, but I know I’m going to enjoy it, both on and off the water. Right off the bat, the team’s atmosphere made me feel comfortable and at home. It was the combination of these attributes that solidified my decision to make the U of M my college.”
Stein started her rowing career two years ago with the Milwaukee Rowing Club as one of the team’s coxswains. One of Stein’s most notable races was when she led the First Varsity Eight to a third-place finish at the Milwaukee River Challenge. Competing with Homestead High School, Stein has lettered in track & field and cross country. Along with her athletic ability, Stein has received multiple academic achievements as a three-time Homestead Merit Award recipient in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The daughter of Sharon Stein and David Stein, she will graduate in 2011 and looks to pursue a degree in political Science and French.
“The combination of excellent academics and a competitive rowing team drew me to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities,” Stein said. “At Minnesota, I can be a successful athlete and achieve as a student. Next year, I look forward to taking challenging classes, meeting new people and proudly representing Minnesota in the Big Ten Conference.”
Swanson started rowing her junior year with Northampton youth rowing. Along with her rowing experience, Swanson was a member of the alpine ski racing team. She competed at the Western Mass championships and the state championships with Amherst Regional High School. The daughter of John and Joanne Swanson, Anna will graduate in the spring of 2011. She plans to study Spanish and occupational therapy.
“I chose Minnesota because I got such a nice welcome from the coaches and rowing team members,” Swanson said. “I like the philosophy of the team and look forward to working hard with them and developing as an athlete. The campus is beautiful and I can't wait to take advantage of all the opportunities Minnesota has to offer.”