2004/05 College Sailing Preseason Prognostications

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Amory Ross

After a fantastic 2003/04 season, College Sailing loses many great sailors who have been at the top of the standings for numerous seasons. However, the incoming class is one of the most talented in recent years, and a number of sailors are returning after long Olympic campaigns; there is much to look forward to in 2004/05. MIDDLE ATLANTIC INTERCOLLEGIATE SAILING ASSOCIATION   The 2004-2005 MAISA season is highlighted by new boats, new coaches and the graduation of some great sailors.  The usual teams will remain at the top with the help of strong recruiting classes, but a few lesser known teams will make some waves.   Reigning ICSA Team Race Champion St. Mary's College loses almost its entire Team Race squad (Danny Pletsch, Jay Rhame, Nick Ewenson, Jen Vandemoer, and Melissa Deveney) to graduation but a strong sophomore squad will keep the Seahawks in the hunt for more championships.  Justin Law returns and will be joined by a number of talented sailors, including Andrew Watters, John Howell and Alex Steele.  On the women's side the Seahawks will feature freshman Adrienne Patterson along with returning skippers Jenny Gervais and Katie Smith.  The Seahawks also have a new assistant coach in John Vandemoer who comes to St. Mary's after running the Chicago YC junior program for many years.     Hobart/William Smith graduated All-American starters John Pearce, Ed Norton, and Alexis Rubin.  The coed team, still very capable, will be led by John Storck and Lee Sackett, who should have no problem finishing at or near the top of intersectionals this year. Freshman Jay Mills should help the coed team this year along with sophomore Trevor Moore. Emilie Barkow and Augusta Nadler will lead the women's team.  Head Coach Scott Iklé will have his team in the hunt for a number of ICSA North American championships this season.     U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (a.k.a. Kings Point) loses only one key player, and returns a number of talented skippers from a semester at sea. All-American David Wright has graduated but leaves the team in good hands as 2-time Honorable Mention All-American Peeter Must returns for his final year.  Sailing for the fall only will be Graham Mergenthaler who started B-division for the Mariners his sophomore year. KP also returns top crews: Tim Cain, Greer Ferguson, and Emily Gardner. The Mariners Plebe class includes Chris Branning (ISSA Singlehanded national champion) and Bobby Noonan, just back from the Laser Worlds.     Georgetown University was hit hard by the graduation of 12 seniors including All-American Tyler Haskell, Thatcher Spring, Bill Jorch, Derek Webster, and Eliza Ryan. The coed team will look to two-time All-American skipper Andrew Campbell to help keep the Hoyas competitive on the national level.  Look for senior Steve Streit, junior Ed duMoulin, and sophomore JB Turney to all get chances in B division. The Hoya freshman class is headlined by Chris Behm (Hampton, Va.) and Zack Kavanaugh (Padanaram, Mass.). Hoya women skippers Derby Anderson and Jackie Schmitz will be abroad this fall, but Cordo Carraher returns to skipper A division. Top women's recruit Blaire Herron (San Diego) and senior Barbara Hall will also get a chance at big regattas. The Naval Academy will be a strong contender this year despite the losses of Justin Smith, Bobby Anderson, and ICSA Women's All-American Honorable Mention Alexa Bestoso. Returning Gary Grimes, John Keith, Ryan Shaughnessy, Nick VanWagoner, and women's skipper Katie Whitman will be key to Navy's young team. New additions include freshmen Garth Fasano (NY), Ian Gill (CT), Charlotte Hill (FL), Cullen Shaughnessy (FL), and Robert Ramirez (FL).  Molly O'Bryan will return this fall as assistant coach.   The big news out of Washington College is the return of Head Coach Geoff Becker. Washington College will have its best chance ever at making a national championship with skippers Colin Robertson, Carl Horrocks, and Chad Hillyer.   Old Dominion women will be strong competitors again this year returning most of their squad: Senior All-American and North American champion Anna Tunnicliffe, senior B division skipper Maureen Castruccio and talented senior crew Christabelle Fernandez. Leading the coed team will be senior skipper Bill Berg and junior skipper Charles Higgins. The Monarchs will count on sophomores David Tunnicliffe, Tom Lewin, and Wade Schon to step up to the plate this season for tiller-time at some major intersectionals. Senior crews Vince Fontimayor and Mike Smith will provide stability to the squad. Old Dominion's freshman class will include a group of strong regional competitors with lots of experience. Also arriving for the start of the fall will be a fleet of 18 Vanguard FJs fitted with Ronstan hardware. A number of new coaches join the ranks in MAISA this fall. John Pearce will rejoin Hobart & William Smith as assistant coach. Danny Pletsch (St. Mary's) is the new head coach at SUNY Maritime. Danny will be aided by the addition of 20 new 420s. Columbia will have Blaine Pedlow (Cal) as its new head coach. Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) will have Jeff Janos as their new head coach. Delaware, Columbia, and Cornell will have new boats this fall. Teams to keep an eye on will be Fordham, Christopher Newport and Hampton.  New teams this season include William and Mary, Villanova, Virginia Tech, and St. John's (Md.).   MIDWEST COLLEGIATE SAILING ASSOCIATION   The MCSA has gotten better recruiting talent of late, and this year there are many experienced women skippers begining their college sailing careers.   Wisconsin is returning many of their MCSA leading sailors; John Porter, John Rather, Anne Porter, Teresa Philips, Elizabeth Prange and Kelly Ferron all return. Patty Schmidt is Wisconsin's top recruit.   Michigan also returns their starting line-up with Brian Baker and Matt Vanderpool as top skippers. Skipper Sara Swenson and crew Emily Shefferly--both from Detroit--begin their college careers at Michigan.   Minnesota returns Ben Bergum, who will be joined by freshmen Jessica Haverstock from Minnetonka.  Minnesota sailors Alex Symes and Zach Colius have both graduated.   St. Thomas returns Lindsey Allen, Northwestern returns Ward Detwiller, and Michigan State returns Mary Vorel. Marquette has Hobart/WS transfer Kate Mueller.   Ohio State graduated Adam Dunki-Jacobs. NEW ENGLAND INTERCOLLEGIATE SAILING ASSOCIATION   New England has seen a tremendous increase in talent this decade. Recruiting at the New England Ivies (and other schools) has taken hold.  With many new coaches, including several full-time assistants, there are more and more great programs in NEISA.  Boston College is also in the top talent pool joining Tufts and the Ivies as nationally ranked powerhouse-teams.  MIT, Connecticut, Coast Guard, URI, BU, Roger Williams, Bowdoin, and Vermont are also improving their squads with solid coaching and more experienced freshmen every year.   Harvard loses their third straight College Sailor of the Year to graduation in Cardwell Potts.  Their next potential CSOTY, Vince Porter, is studying in Italy this fall. Genny Tulloch and Clay Johnson will sail A and B for a team that has been No. 1 in part of each of the last five years.  Harvard returns many veteran crews; however, they lost Diana Rodin to graduation.  Sloan Devlin will skipper the bulk of the women's regattas while freshman Kyle Kovacs (past Smythe and Bemis winner) will join Johnson at singlehanded regattas.   Dartmouth graduated Scotty Hogan and Amo Loring.  Eric Stork and Clementine James will likely fill those shoes, along with skippers Andrew Loe, Peter Fleming, Mike Wilde, Lauren Padilla, and Emily East and many excellent crews.  Ben Sampson leads another really strong recruiting class for the Big Green.   Yale certainly has a fast A skipper in Stu McNay, but his past crew Kate Littlefield has graduated.  Molly Carapiet is back with All-American crew Jen Hoyle. She will get help from Phil Stemler, Matt Berry, Emily Hill, Kendra Emhiser, and Eivand Karlsen.  Yale might have the best recruit with Pt. Loma High School and 420 champ Zach Brown.   Tufts graduated three All-Americans, skipper AJ Crane and crews Katie Shuman and Kristen Tysell.  They enter 2004-2005 with 12 junior skippers including Dave Siegal, Zander Kirkland, Jeff Cruise, Brendan Shattuck, and USCGA transfer Tommy Leech.  Sophomore skipper Peter Fallon will see plenty of action as will top recruits Kaity Stork and Michael Easton.   Brown graduated multiple All-Americans Chris Ashley and Alison Berenbach.  Meanwhile Annie Davidson returns to revitalize their women's team after a semester abroad.  Pat Rynne and Charlie Enright will lead their coed team and they will count on freshman Hugh Cullman for their future.   Boston College lost only Adie Hinman to graduation.  Seniors Jeff Bonnani, Ben Gent, and Frank Ustach return along with women's skippers Julie Wilson and Maura Winston.  BC has many excellent crews as well. BC picks up Reed Johnson and Leigh Kempton, along with Alden Reid and several more potentially excellent crews.   MIT is improving their small (by NEISA standards) team.  Dan Bercovici has graduated, but their top skipper JM Modisette returns.  MIT lost a couple of fine crews, at least for the fall.  Cha-ling O'Connell returns to lead their women's team while they expect big things from three freshmen, Jack Field, Jake Muhlmann, and Amanda Baker.   Connecticut College has graduated Cooper Offenbacher, while Henry Maxwell goes abroad for the fall. Amanda Clark will return to full-time competition after a multi-year Olympic campaign.  Kate Bogart has another year at the helm and Emily Whipple has two years left.  Connecticut also has excellent recruits including Dave Melaney.   Coast Guard lost Tom Przybyla, Baxter Smoak, and Sue Bonney to graduation and Tommy Leech to Tufts.  They still have good skippers with Matt Sexton, Robbie Gorman, Ben Komar, and Chris Greenough all returning.  Their recruits include Nole Shriner and Sam Mazzeo.   Rhode Island graduated Joey Mello but retains Sean Horrigan for one semester.  Morgan Paxhia and Matt Kastan also return.  No word yet on their recruits.   Roger Williams has their starting lineup intact with skippers Bobby Koar and Drew Hamilton.   Boston University returns starter Craig Nale, but loses Dan Rummel to graduation.   Bowdoin returns Frank Pizzo, Peter Sheerlinck, Simon Bolgrem, Caitlin Moore, and Emily Bruns.  They have a few experienced freshmen, including Quentin Reeve.   Vermont returns their entire starting lineup with Ryan Brown, Cleveland Ruekert, Andrea Petroneeli, and Tiffany Spencer.  They have at least three strong recruits with Matt Clark, Kim Murtha and Andrew Greeley.  Most important is the acquisition of 18 good FJs from Old Dominion.  That should help bring some good teams to the Lake Champlain Open in October.   NORTHWEST INTERCOLLEGIATE SAILING ASSOCIATION Univ. of Washington--A fairly young and deep team that should continue to lead the Northwest. UW will miss All-America crew Kim Kishi, but returning skippers Brendan Fahey, Zak Malbin, Alex Jones, Jon Kelch, Hayley Siegenthaler, and Emily Hawken, plus crews Heather Baird, Lysondra Ludwig, Ellie Wilson, Laurel Siegenthaler and Truda Peters should provide continued and maturing strength. This, when combined with incoming freshmen Ben Young and Paul Stewart,should keep them vying for the national rankings. Two new FJs from the Spring NAs, plus the continued support from a strong group of recent alums, provide added strength to this team. Portland State--Two-time All-Northwest Skipper Jeff Causey and All-Northwest Women's Skipper Anika Olsen and Caitlin-Coleman Hulbert will all return. Portland loses Kelly McFarlane, but they are excited to welcome Kevin Stravers from Clark Community College. Western Washington University--Spring sailing graduates were Annie Johnson, Colin McDonald, Laura Klein, and Rylin LaPlante.  Two brand new boats were added at Nationals, and they're looking forward to having six FJs at every practice. Western Washington U. will have a strong Women's team this year and will hopefully help to expand women's sailing in the Northwest. Univ of British Columbia--With few graduating sailors and the addition of new freshman and newly interested upperclassmen, the teams numbers should stay strong.  Vancouver (home base) has a very strong pool of high school sailors, and also provides a good support basis; it's a city that welcomes sailing. Washington State University, though small, hopes to attend all races and be more of a competitor than in the past.  The team, as well as the club, is led by senior Scott Wilson.  They recently purchased 4 FJs and are now recruiting hard to fill those boats.   PACIFIC COAST INTERCOLLEGIATE YACHT RACING ASSOCIATION Univ. of Hawaii--The North American champions will ultimately return all of their "power players" but the first tier of sailors are taking the fall off, including Bryan Lake, Joey Pasquali, Jennifer Warnock, and Renee DeCurtis.  But the Rainbow squad should continue its recent strong trend with a bunch of new recruits, including William Wallace from South Carolina, Chris and Nick Cervantes and Mike Scott from Kaneohe, Hawaii, Mark Spector  from Los Angeles, all fighting for only 10 available spots on the varsity team. This against a strong second string of returners including John Fitzpatrick from Maui, Scott DeCurtis from Redondo Beach, Calif., Matt Stine from Dana Point, Calif., Tanner Marsh from San Diego, Eric Oppen from Minnetonka, Minn., Jeff Boyd from San Diego, and Tyler Salvo from Seattle. Univ. of Southern Cal--The deep, young talent of this team begins to mature.  After serving as training partner to the US Olympic 470 Team in Athens this summer, second-semester sophomore Mikee Anderson returns to USC. Senior Harrison Turner, sophomores Greg Helias and Clark Fonda, as well as outstanding crews including sophomores Melanie Roberts, Vanessa DeCollibus, Eva Seligman, Lessa Grunenfelder Meghan Hoffman, and Senior Kyrstin Munson all return.  The loss of graduated senior All-American Katie Clausen will affect the Women's team, but look for several crews to step up as skippers. Stanford--With a new boathouse complete and a new fleet of boats, the Cardinals look to build. Junior Brian Haines takes a year off; however, senior Peter Demming and sophomore Emery Wager should carry the weight as coed skippers. The Stanford Women's team is the one to watch with Honorable Mention All-American and winner of B Division at Women's NAs, Liz Rountree, as well as Youth Worlds skipper Caroline Young '07. Returning crew include Julie Pitts '05, Anna Vu '06, Lucy Horton '05, Joanna Madsen '07, and Becca Levin '06. Several new freshmen should round out the Stanford team including coed skipper Eddie Conrad of New Orleans, woman skipper Evan Brown of Tampa, Fla., and crews Carrie Denning of Greenwich, Conn., and Marianna Beardsworth of Palo Alto, Calif. UC Irvine--With lots of returning and unconfirmed new talent, watch for UC Irvine to be one of the "big stories" this year. UC Santa Barbara--Returning coach Ty Reed gets plenty of returning talent including skippers Hunter Williams, Tedd White, Jon Bell, and Dave Hochart and women skippers Kate Conway and Casey Pelletier, plus crews Lauren Hobson, Courtney Careccia, Monica LaHaye, and Fernanda Schlender. New sailors include Carson Reynolds.   UC Berkeley--Berkeley graduated Varsity starters James Learned and Emery Sanford, as well as Sam Treadwell, Margaret Wilson, and Matt Schuman.  Coach Blaine Pedlow has moved on to graduate school and coaching at Columbia. Women's sailor Kristen Mayberry is returning from a semester abroad and will be the team's only senior. Sailors to watch this semester will be Logan Jager, Ann Conway, Jessie Wedler, Ryan Schultheis, and Heather Nickerson.  The biggest news at Cal is a new fleet of 12 FJs and a new Whaler.   UC Santa Cruz--The UC Santa Cruz sailing team didn't lose anyone to graduation.  They also expect to more than double the team's size this fall. A new FJ (hopefully a second, soon) and a new website continue the upward trend. UC San Diego--Mission Bay YC continues its gracious accommodation of UCSD. Chris Nilson and Jordan Meyer were the only two sailors to graduate.  The returning members of the team will be thinned during the first half of the year due to some studying abroad, but adding to the ranks will be Nick Ward, who will likely sail opposite third-year varsity sailor Sean Anderson.  The team's current fleet of seven FJs will have two more added to it by mid season.   UC Los Angeles--The loss of team captain Tom Hartmann will be a hit to this student-run team, but with lots of returning talent and incoming freshman Sam Wheeler (Milton Academy, Mass. 2002 HS Champs) they should continue to rebuild. Northridge--This new team graduated two of eight sailors, and one went back to school in Georgia, but recruiting and strong leadership should bring growth, improvement, and hopefully, a coach for this year. San Jose State--With some new leadership (Commodore Kevin Booker, Vice Commodore Eric Stackpole, Fleet Captain Eric Colton, Secretary/Treasurer/Webmaster Erica Stronach) and continued support from advisor Shirley Reekie, this team should be reactivated this year.          SOUTH ATLANTIC INTERCOLLEGIATE SAILING ASSOCIATION   SAISA will again feature three very strong teams in Charleston, Eckerd, and South Florida, but there are a number of other up-and-coming teams looking to break in.     The College of Charleston graduated skippers John Bowden and Jean Herman, as well as crews Emily Taylor, and Emily Qualey.  Top recruit Chris Lash, along with returning sailors José Feuntes, Tom Loutrel, and Brendan Healy will have the coed squad in the hunt for a North American championship. Returning Women's team skippers Sarah Wilkinson, Alana O'Reilly, and Anne Bowen will be the heavy favorites to win the SAISA title.  New dinghy coach Chris Gaffney (St. Mary's) and new Women's coach Ward Cromwell (Old Dominion), join head coach George Wood.   South Florida returns stronger and deeper this year having lost only three seniors and gaining 10 freshmen for the fall. The team returns most of its squad with juniors Kevin Reali, Ashley Reynolds, and Andrew Blom leading for the fall. They'll have incoming freshmen skippers Bryan Paine, Tommy Driscoll, Grant Lockhart, Kyle St. John, and Anthony Scruggs competing as skippers.  Watch out for Kevin Reali, defending his 2003 SAISA Singlehanded title. Juniors Kristen Herman, Jee Lee, and Abby Ethington made big strides last spring in women's sailing and will bring a wealth of experience with them to northern intersectionals. Look for Freshman Adrienne Bohl and Sophomore Kirsten Murray to step up as skippers for the Bulls at women's events.   The Eckerd College Sailing Team, with Scott Norman starting his 5th year as head coach, is gearing up for another fantastic season. The team lost two starting seniors, Karen Pickering and Carson Turowski.  The core of the co-ed team is led by junior skippers Kellen Bernard, Peter Stanton, and DJ Driscoll while the Women's team returns in full force with skippers Lindsey Nahmias '06 and Maddy Eustis '05. Returning crews include Tina Irwin '07, Allison Cribbs '06 and Kristen Mitchell '05.  A division women's crew Leo Calzadilla '06 will be taking the year off to study in Spain.  The Tritons will have a full roster with 14 new recruits led by Sarah Swan, Stan Smith, and Chris Armstrong.   Other teams that will be in contention include the Citadel (with David O'Reilly) and the University of Florida.  SAISA has also seen the addition and improvement of a number of schools.  The University of Miami will be competing in SAISA for its second season. Vanderbilt has increased its support of its sailing club and the team is now sailing in six CJs purchased from Kings Point with two more, courtesy of a growing alumni organization, coming soon.  Davidson, Tennessee and UTennessee Knoxville will also be improved this season.   SOUTHEAST INTERCOLLEGIATE SAILING ASSOCIATION   Texas A&M Galveston graduated Bill Self, but returns many skippers including Hugh Haggerty, Scott Santon, Reid Eubanks, Kevin Gunn, and Jennifer Cate.  They also have great recruits in Brad Winslet, Chris Flynn, and Anjelo Romondi.   University of South Alabama was recently featured in Sailing World as an up-and-coming team.  They look to improve again this year with Karl Kleinshrodt returning, along with Drew Keenan and Drew Hall.   University of Texas recruited Natalie Vann and Andrew Chambers.  Nathalie Mulhern returns but Blake Billman leaves for the fall. On his return, Billman may have his hands full as event chairman for the upcoming College North Americans on Lake Travis.   Tulane expects the return of Pat Hutchinson and Reeves Price; however, Joe Quick has graduated.  Katie Ward is their top recruit.   Kansas graduated Chris Laborde but Tim Fitzgerald returns, and University of New Orleans still has David Blouin.