LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall women's rowing returns for the ninth annual Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC) Championships on Saturday, seeking the program's first championship. The Diplomats travel to Gifford Pinchot State Park in Lewisberry to take on the MARC's nine other member teams.
The MARC Champion, as with the last four seasons, will earn an automatic qualification to the NCAA Division III Championships, held in West Windsor, N.J. from May 26-28.
In the Rankings
F&M dropped just outside of the top 15 in this week's USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Division III Collegiate Rowing Poll. However, the Diplomats remained as the highest vote-getters among unranked teams, missing out on the top 15 by just one point.
Washington College (No. 13) and Bryn Mawr (No. 15) are the only MARC teams to appear in the poll.
Click here to view the full poll.
MARC Championship History
F&M recorded its highest-ever finish at the MARC Championships a year ago, placing in second place with 35 points, behind only Washington College with 40. The title was the fourth in as many years for the Shorewomen, while Bryn Mawr took third with 27 points, Marietta finished fourth with 26, and Johnson & Wales earned fifth with 22.
A Look at F&M
The Diplomats again enter as one of the favorites after a number of impressive performances through seven events this spring.
F&M's Varsity 8+ has hit its stride as of late, most recently registering a second-place finish at the Kerr Cup on April 15. The Diplomats tallied another second-place finish out of six boats on April 9 at the Knecht Cup with a time of 7:29.63, as well as a fourth-place showing out of 13 competitors in the Grand Final of the Murphy Cup Regatta on March 25.
The First Varsity 8+ group will feature Kathryn Benedetto (coxswain), Katie Benham (8), Jillian Goss-Holmes (7), Teresa Chappell (6), Sarah Nelson (5), Margaret Stoner (4), Milly Herz (3), Erin Smith (2), and Paige Alexander (1).
The Second Varsity 8 will be made up of Emilie MacDonald (coxswain), Jamie Davidow (8), Leah Issokson (7), Rachel Topper (6), Annette Von Jaglinsky (5), Helen Nelson (4), Maggie Carper (3), Rebecca McCain (2), and Casey Siemon (1), while Dori Coplan (coxswain), Katelin Dao (8), Erika Zirman (7), Kendra Gibbs (6), Sarah Labovitz (5), Kristen Clair (4), Zihan Li (3), Anna Luckiewicz (2), and Sarah Stenske (1) will comprise the Third Varsity 8+.
A Look at the Field
The MARC welcomes two new teams for their first appearance at the conference championships, with St. Mary's (Md.) and Cabrini joining the fold as recently-added member institutions.
Four-time defending champion Washington College are again among the favorites and boast the highest national ranking in the MARC. However, Bryn Mawr and F&M pose a serious challenge and have solidified their positions at the top end of the conference.
The women's conference champion will be determined based solely on the First Varsity 8+ and Second Varsity 8+ events. To view the point system for this Saturday's competition, click here.
Action is set to begin at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday. To follow race results throughout the day, click here.