Aug. 13, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. -
Four Stanford oarswomen, three current and one alumna, landed spots on the national teams of the United States and Great Britain that will compete at the 2009 World Rowing Championships Aug. 23-30 in Poznan, Poland. 2008 Olympian Elle Logan will be part of the U.S. women's four at the championships, while Grace Luczak and 2008 Stanford graduate Jessi Reel were named alternates to the U.S. team and Michelle Vezie was named as an alternate to Great Britain's squad.
"Having four Stanford rowers at the World Championships is inspirational to this program and team," said Stanford women's head coach Yasmin Farooq. "Elle Logan is a fierce competitor, and I am excited to watch her stroke the U.S. four in world competition. This kind of international experience in a leadership position is invaluable and I know she will make the most of it."
"As alternates, you really can't find three better people than Grace, Jessi and Michelle," Farooq continued. "They are consummate team players who will be ready to go if called into action."
The trio of Logan, Luczak and Vezie were key members of the 2008-09 Stanford team that captured the program's first-ever team and I Eight national titles at the NCAA Championships this past June, along with the Pac-10 Championships.
At 6-2, Logan rowed in the No. 6 seat of the I Eight, where her length and power fueled the "engine room" of the Stanford boat to victory against California in The Big Row, as well as in record-setting races at the Pac-10 and NCAA Championships. In all last year, Logan captured gold medals at the Olympics (with the U.S. women's eight), the Pac-10 Championships, and the NCAA Championships, a rare triple crown for a collegiate rower.
Logan was also named to the CRCA Pocock All-America First Team following last season.
Luczak, a second-team CRCA Pocock All-American in 2009, rowed in the No. 5 seat behind Logan for the Cardinal last season. At the Under-23 World ChampionshipsPin Racice, Czech Republic last month, she pulled double-duty for the U.S., where she won a silver medal in the U.S. eight and finished fifth in the women's pair.
Reel, the Pac-10 Women's Rowing Athlete of the Year in 2008, learned to row at Stanford in her freshman year, developing into a world-class rower over her four years on The Farm. She was a member of the U.S. eight that won the 2008 Under-23 World Championships, and earlier that year she stroked the Stanford I Eight to a national runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships, Stanford's best finish prior to last year's title.
The lone non-U.S. rower representing Stanford at the worlds, Vezie rowed in the No. 5 seat in the Great Britain eight that captured the gold medal at the Under-23 World Championships last month. The historic win was Great Britain's first-ever victory in a women's eight at any world championships event (senior, under-23, junior). At Stanford, Vezie rowed in the No. 2 seat for the I Eight in both 2008 and 2009.
The women's quartet joins Stanford men David Banks '06, Jake Cornelius '06 and Alex Osborne '09 in representing the Cardinal at the 2009 World Championships.