STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford women’s rowing has signed 15 student-athletes to join the team as freshmen in 2014-15.
Head coach Yasmin Farooq and her staff scaled the country and beyond to ink rowers from the nation’s capital, 10 different states and Canada. Stanford’s national recruiting continued as the incoming freshmen joined 30 returning athletes from 2013-14 who were from 15 different states and two other countries.
“This is a class that can make a real difference,” said Farooq. “In addition to being excellent academic fits for Stanford, the work ethic of this class stands out. It's a big jump from high school to college rowing and they have collectively shown that they want to get here and contribute as soon as possible. They will hit the ground running and I'm really excited to have them join the Women of Stanford."
The list of incoming freshmen included seven individuals who placed in the top 12 at the 2014 USRowing Youth National Championships and three who competed at the Club Nationals this summer. Also one of the signees represented the U.S. at the Under-23 World Championships in Varese, Italy this past weekend.
Here is a brief introduction to each of Stanford’s 15 signees.
Jenn Belz - Evergreen, Colo.
Belz attended Mullen High School and rowed for the Mile High Rowing Club. She placed 12th in the 4+ at Youth Nationals. A swimmer and lacrosse player as well, Belz holds the school record in the 50 free.
“Stanford is the perfect mixture of academics, athletics, challenge, and excitement; it’s got everything all wrapped up into one experience."
Anne Bertram – Washington, D.C.
Bertram went to the National Cathedral School. She was invited to the Junior Women’s National Team Sweep selection camp in 2012 and was selected to the Junior Nationals Worlds Development Team in 2013. Her mother, Katy, rowed with Farooq on Wisconsin’s national championship team.
"Stanford is exactly the place I want to be for the next four years because there are limitless possibilities both academically and athletically. There is a huge focus on forward thinking, not only in the class room, but also in the athletic department with the way coaches and trainers approach student athletes. I can't wait to be on The Farm!"
Callie Heiderscheit – Bettendorf, Iowa
Heiderscheit attended Bettendorf High School and rowed for the Y Quad Cities Rowing Association. Her club set the small team 100,000 meter erg test record, while she earned gold in the 4x at both Youth Nationals and Midwest Regionals this year. She attended the National Team Sculling Selection Camp in 2012.
“I chose Stanford because everything encompassed by the school – a student body with astounding passions, a rowing team with admirable focus, incredibly knowledgeable coaches – amazed me. I don’t know if I am a perfect fit for Stanford today, but in the next four years I’ll make that my mission. Being a fit for Stanford means fitting with the most inquisitive and accomplished students in the world.”
Madi Kist – Maple Glen, Pa.
Kist is a coxswain who went to Mount Saint Joseph Academy. She won the 2013 Schuykill Regatta and took seventh in the lightweight 8+ at Youth Nationals this summer.
“Stanford’s tradition of excellence in both academics and rowing combined with the opportunity to cox under Coach Yaz and her exceptional staff here at “Coxswain U” made Stanford the perfect fit for me! The Stanford student’s diligent work ethic, intellectual audacity, vibrant passion, and pure love for everyone and everything on the Farm are quite irresistible and highly contagious!”
Anya Miller – Laguna Beach, Calif.
Miller went to Laguna Beach High School and rowed for the Newport Aquatic Center. She finished ninth in the pair back-to-back years at Nationals. She is a well-rounded athlete who competed in cross country, track and field and water polo as well.
“To me, Stanford offered the most well-rounded college experience. Not only is it a great school, but it also has a family-like structure that promises to encourage and care for each student on an individual level. That commitment to its students is really what set it apart from every other college I visited.”
Devin Norder – Osprey, Fla.
Norder graduated from Pine View School and has rowed for two clubs in Sarasota. She is coming off a fifth place finish in the lightweight 2x at the U23 World Championships after winning the trials competition. She also won a Youth National Championship in the lightweight 4+ in 2011.
“I chose Stanford because I believe it will provide me with the best opportunity to perform both athletically and academically at the highest level possible.”
Brigitte Pawliw-Fry – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Pawliw-Fry attended Ridley College and rowed for the Argonaut Rowing Club. She garnered a silver medal at the Canadian Rowing Championships and qualified for the Royal Henley Regatta. Her cousin, Morgan Crooks, rowed for Canada in the women’s eight at the 2000 Olympics.
“First of all, academics are really important to me and Stanford is the number one ranked social science (my area of study) university in the world. I really like the Stanford approach to education: very collaborative in nature and more `easy going` than some other schools I was looking at. I also thought the founding was interesting. It doesn’t hurt that we can row outdoors year round!”
Tracy Roberts – Bradenton, Fla.
Roberts went to Lakewood Ranch High School and rowed for the Sarasota Crew Club. She is a two-time state champion, who only began rowing in 2013. She also played basketball.
"The second I stepped onto the campus, I knew that I wanted to be at Stanford. I've never felt as invigorated and stimulated as I did when I visited campus. I love the competition and drive Stanford students have both in athletics and academics. I cannot wait to spend the next years of my life at such an incredible university and compete alongside such phenomenal athletes and students."
Alie Rusher – Glenview, Ill.
Rusher graduated from St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H. and will join her sister, Kay, on the Stanford women’s rowing team. Like Bertram’s mother, Rusher’s mom Cindy also rowed with Farooq at Wisconsin as well as on the U.S. National Team. Alie rowed at the Henley Royal Regatta in 2014 and also competed in volleyball, hockey and nordic skiing.
"I picked Stanford because I'll get to row all year round, live on a beautiful campus, and go to school with my sister again. All while getting one of the best educations in the world. What I wanted most is to find a place where I could enjoy my college experience and Stanford definitely seems like the place for me."
Betsy Soukup – Sunnyside, N.Y.
Soukup is a graduate transfer from MIT where she majored in mechanical engineering and minored in East Asian studies with a concentration in Chinese. She rowed for three seasons and was second team All-Patriot League last season with the varsity eight. She is a two-time CRCA Scholar Athlete. She helped MIT take third in the Patriot League Championships two straight years.
“I was looking for a school where I would feel challenged but also feel like a supportive community. When I saw the unique courses that Stanford offers and spoke with students who sounded really happy to be there, I knew that I had found the right place!”
Helen Stroheker – Oakland, Calif.
Stroheker attended The College Preparatory School and rowed for the Oakland Strokes club. She won the varsity eight at the 2014 San Diego Crew Classic. She also competed in cross country, track & field and volleyball, recording the third highest high jump in school history.
“I chose Stanford because it is the only place I know where you can get a world-class education in one of the most beautiful settings on Earth. Opportunities lie at the tip of your fingertips, and I’m excited to embrace everything that Stanford has to offer for the next four years.”
Becca Triplett – Loomis, Calif.
Triplett went to Del Oro High School where she swam for four years. She holds six school records and graduated in the top one percent of her class. Her father played football at Army and her mother was an all-american swimmer at American River College.
“I chose Stanford for too many reasons to count. It blows my mind that one place can be so highly regarded in both academics and athletics, but what truly made my decision was the people. When I met the team, I felt like I was looking at 35 of me. Every single one of them tall, smart, athletic, driven and hardworking, but most of all they were happy. Stanford is the only place other than where I live that I have felt like I was home.”
Celeste Turner – Dallas, Texas
Turner graduated from The Episcopal School of Dallas and was a member of the Founders Rowing Club. She was a Texas state champion in two events in 2013, while also competing in soccer, softball and volleyball. Her cousin, Tennessee Lane, was on the Olympic equestrian team.
“I love being kept on my toes and engaged by constant challenges academically and athletically; both of which are offered in the highest caliber at Stanford University.”
Paige Voigt – Darien, Conn.
Voigt attended King & Low-Heywood Thomas School and is from Darien, Conn. She rowed for Connecticut boat club and collected three gold medals in one day at the Mercer Sprints. This summer she claimed a silver medal in the 8+ event at Youth Nationals.
Leigh Warner – Portland, Ore.
Warner went to Lincoln High School and rowed with Rose City Rowing Club. She rowed alongside current Stanford women’s rower Ruth Narode and placed second at the Brentwood Regatta. She also played lacrosse.
“I chose Stanford because I wanted to be surrounded by people who were motivated, both in terms of academics and athletics. I am humbled to be a part of a community that values integrity and hard work.”