LANCASTER, Pa. – Last year saw Franklin & Marshall's women's rowing program reach national prominence with a number of key milestones that the Diplomats will look to build on heading into the 2017 spring season.
Competition begins on Friday with a matchup against St. Mary's College in Maryland.
To watch a season preview video for the 2017 F&M women's rowing team, click here.
Five members of the Varsity 8+ boat that placed second in the grand final at the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC) Championship return after leading the Diplomats to the program's highest-ever finish at the event. F&M registered a second-place showing out of five teams after accumulating 35 points on the day.
Joining the team is a large freshman class that includes nine recruits who are expected to battle for spots in the top boats and add depth to a team that enjoyed a two-week stint in the national rankings last season, remaining at No. 15 from April 20 to May 4.
Sarah Nelson – Sr.
Kathryn Benedetto – Sr.
Jamie Davidow – Sr.
Teresa Chappell – Jr.
Chappell headlines the returners after landing on the All-MARC Varsity list last year while also becoming just the second Diplomat in the history of the program to be named an All-American, earning a spot on the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Pocock All-America Second Team.
Senior captain's Sarah Nelson and Kathryn Benedetto will be looked upon for their leadership. Nelson has been a mainstay in the Varsity 8+ boat for the past few seasons while Benedetto has cemented her role as the team's lead coxswain.
A Look Back at the Fall
F&M took part in three regattas last fall, including the 52nd annual Head of the Charles in Boston on Oct. 22-23.
Kathryn Benedetto (coxswain), Jillian Goss-Holmes (4), Katie Benham (3), Sarah Nelson (2) and Erin Smith (1) teamed up for a 15th-place showing out of 35 competing boats in the Varsity 4+ race, finishing ahead of boats from Oregon, Bowdoin, Marquette, Penn State, Amherst and Georgia Tech.
The Road Ahead
Following the spring's opening competition against St. Mary's, the Diplomats are set for a total of five events leading up the 2017 MARC Championships in Lewisberry on Saturday, April 29.
The Diplomats figure to face stiff competition from rival Washington College as F&M looks to supplant the Shorewomen for its first MARC Title and earn a place in the NCAA Championships, which take place in West Windsor, N.J. from May 26-28.