Sailing World’s College Preseason Prognostications

Compiled by Sailing World’s coaches panel: Michael Callahan (Georgetown), Ken Legler (Tufts), and Mike Segerbloom (USC) with help from Ann Campbell.

MIDDLE ATLANTIC

While MAISA graduated a total of 13 All-Americans last year the level of competition in the district will still be great.

St. Mary's College, the winners of the 2002 Coed North Americans look to be one of the least affected by graduation. While Brent Jansen, Mikeala King, and Leah Anderson are gone, the team returns All-Americans Danny Pletsch and Caleb Silsby to sail A and B divisions for the coed squad. For the women, Jamie Smith and Ali Sharp return and should be the team to beat at most women's regattas this year. Perhaps the biggest off-season news for the Seahawks is the departure of Assistant Coach Geoff Becker who will take over the program at Washington College. St. Mary's grad and All-American Chris Gaffney has replaced Becker.

Hobart & William Smith returns almost all of its starters from last year's team. Sam Rogers and Ed Norton will lead the coed squad with a slew of underclassmen talent waiting in the wings. Sam and Ed should be at or near the top of MAISA this year making Hobart one of the teams to beat. On the women's front, Sonya Smith and Amanda Callahan both return. Both are extremely talented and will certainly contend for the district championship.

The big news at Kings Point is the return to college sailing of Matt Schubert. Two years ago Matt was one of the most talented sailors in MAISA. If he can return to form, Kings Point may well be ranked in the top five nationally throughout the season. KP also returns ICSA Singlehanded Champ Dave Wright, sophomore Peeter Must, and senior Dave Chapman. The coed team will also be bolstered by a number of talented freshman headlined by Graham Mergenthaler, winner of a number of junior regattas and a fourth-place finisher at the Bemis in 2001.

Georgetown University was hit hard by the graduation of 12 seniors including Brian Bissell, Ken Ward, Curtis Flood, Leah Williams, Melanie Wood, and Kat Penberthy. The Hoyas will look to juniors Tyler Haskell, Thatcher Spring, and Bill Jorch as well as senior Byron LaMotte to help keep the Hoyas competitive on the national level. The Hoyas also have a very talented freshman class headlined by superstar Andrew Campbell, who recently won the U.S. and World Youth Championships in Lasers. Andrew is also quite an accomplished doublehanded sailor and may very well be starting in A or B by the end of the semester. Joining Andrew on the coed team is Freshman Ed du Moulin from Larchmont, N.Y.

The Hoyas return all their women’s sailors from last year--Mimi Elliott, Elizabeth Sampson, Eliza Ryan, and Cordo Carraher--and will add reigning Ida Lewis trophy winner Derby Anderson as well as Jackie Schmitz. Look for Derby to be sailing in both women’s and coed regattas.

The Naval Academy saw their only All-Americans, Travis Weber and Emmy Spencer, graduate and go to aviation school and postgraduate education at Oxford, respectively. The middies however return a number of capable coed sailors including Troy Treaccar, Ricky Lang, Justin Smith, and Spencer Weber.

The Navy women’s team is looking to make it back to Nationals and will have veterans Emily Dupont and Alexa Bestoso handling the skippering duties. The top newcomers on the Navy Team are Charles Fulmer and Ryan Shaugnessy, both talented Laser Radial sailors. The Midshipman look as deep as they have been in years and will certainly be at the top of many regattas this year.

The big news out of Washington College is the departure of Head Coach Bill Ward. Bill worked wonders for the program and the team should only get stronger with Geoff Becker as the new head coach. Geoff sports a team that returns Honorable Mention All-American Mike Buckley as well as Nathan St. Onge and Colin Robertson. Freshman Carl Horracks, of Pt. Pleasant. N.J., who was 19th at Laser Radial Worlds in 2002, will be a great addition to the squad. Buckley is capable of winning his division at intersectionals and if Nathan, Colin, or Carl can be competitive in B division, Washington College will have a great chance at qualifying for North Americans in the spring.

At Old Dominion University, last year's starting coed skippers, Brad Funk and Matt Allen, have exhausted their eligibility (they both will actually graduate in December). All American crews Lis Biondi and Ryan Thorvaldsen have also exhausted their eligibility leaving the coed team a little challenged. The Monarchs will look to junior Jack Kerr likely paired with All-American Crew Anna Cobb to start in A division while B division is up in the air. Likely candidates are Corrie Clement, and Ignacio "Nacho" Saralegui. Ignacio is a former junior champion from Uruguay who transferred in last year, sailed in the fall, and redshirted the spring.

The Lady Monarchs, last years Women’s North American Champions, will likely remain at or near the top of the leaderboard. While All-American Sally Barkow has graduated, senior Corrie Clement, senior Debbie Capozzi, and sophomore Anna Tunnicliffe all return with excellent crews including All-American Liz Bower.

Christopher Newport will be an improved team as Coach Dan Winters has been spending a lot of time cultivating the talent on his team and it should begin to pay off this year. Columbia, Queens, Princeton and Cornell will also be strong district teams. Fordham University has returned to college sailing.

MIDWEST

Wisconsin should continue their run as the top MCSA coed team this fall as Andy Graf (graduating after fall semester), John Porter, and Skip Rather all return with crews Stacy Tillquist and Tina Weber. Women's A skipper Kaitlin Krause isn't planning on sailing this year. Teresa Philips will be one of the people trying to fill her shoes.

Michigan lost Nathan Hartwell and will likely start their women's team with Katie Kaltz and Ellen Hartwell. Mike Rodie and Trevor Hartwell move up and Anna Keefer returns as perhaps the best crew in the district.

Hans Zinn and Paul Kobs graduated from the Minnesota squad. Tim Krech and Anne Scheuerman will lead the way for the Golden Gophers.

Ohio State should be the district's most improved team with Adam Dunki-Jacobs and Bryan Parker along with freshman Dave Alvarado.

Northwestern will sport a young team with sophomore Lindsay Duda and freshmen Dave Parker from Erie, Penn.

Michigan State may be back with freshman Rob Linden, currently competing in the Bemis finals.

NEW ENGLAND

Harvard, despite the graduation of College Sailor of the Year Sean Doyle, super strong crew Susan Bonney, and arguably their best woman skipper ever in Margaret Gill, will continue to be the team to beat in NEISA. Clay Bischoff and Cardwell Potts will lead the way with crew Lema Kikuchi. Dan Litchfield is ready to fleet or team race and may get to sail with All-American Michelle Yu. Bischoff will be the man to beat in New England Singlehandeds and Potts may be the best in sloops. Vince Porter begins his freshmen year in frosh regattas and singlehandeds while other freshmen Genny Tulloch, Sloan Devlin, and Britton Tullo compete for women's spots with veterans Jen Philbrick and Clemmie Everett. Jessica Baker is also in the mix on the women's side.

Tufts graduated All-American John Birkett, but slow down very little with many seniors stepping up. Pete Levesque and Caroline Hall, who won A Division at nationals two years ago, start A again. JR Maxwell and Deane Madsen, outstanding at team racing nationals, will begin in B with Matt Cohen and AJ Crane also sailing fast. Many new freshmen make up for a small sophomore class and they include David Siegal and Zander Kirkland from Tabor, Jeffrey Cruise, Ian Beam, Alex Singer, and Bryan Prior.

Dartmouth lost Kevin Horrigan, Jen Morgan, and Cindy Keppel. Scott Hogan will lead the team once again while Peter Fleming and John Diskant move into starting roles. Rapidly improving Laurin Padilla joins Thalia Pascalides in their starting women's team with rookie Emily East getting tested as well. Andrew Loe leads the freshmen there along with Sears Cup champions Eric and Karl Johnson.

Yale has a small but powerful first string line-up, which makes them a big threat in dinghies. Stu McNay and Kate Littlefield are incredibly fast and Brandon Wall is back. Isabelle Kinsolving graduated to bigger and better things (an Olympic 470 campaign), but the young Yale women may soon be the best in the nation. Julie Papanek and Jenn Hoyle move into A while junior national champ Molly Carapiet enters the college arena.

Brown gets better. Chris Ashley and Alison Berenbach remain in A with Chris Palmisano supplanting the graduated Peter Feroe. Their women's team is as good as Yale's with Whitney Besse, Emma Litchenstein, and Anne Davidson all skippering. Patrick Rynne is their best sophomore and new freshmen include Charlie Enright and Rip Hale from Milton and Christina Starr, a great crew from St. George's.

Like their cross-town rivals, Boston College also lost a College Sailor of the Year to graduation in Tyler Pruett. Mark Teborek and Carrie Howe return along with crew Joy MacDougal and many others. They a number of good freshmen and even more talented sophomores. The most significant development, however, may be their new coach, Greg Wilkinson, who put the Vermont Sailing on the map over the last few years.

MIT, like Yale, has a small but strong team. Tim McEvoy graduated, but Brian Savery is back and so is last year's freshman champion JM Modisette.

Rhode Island loses Peter Clark and Kate Bradford but still has Chad Atkins, Sean Horrigan, and Joey Mello. Their best freshman is Jeff Kittridge but their best new skipper is Nat Spencer, last year's A skipper at Vermont who just transferred to URI.

Connecticut College lost the most skippers with Sam Lester, Trevor Perkins, Brian Zimmerman, and Duffy Markham, along with crew Emily Peacock. Amanda Clark is their best skipper but she'll be split among academics, an Olympic campaign, women's championships and A skipper for the coed team. Other skippers include Cooper Offenbacher and Kate Bogart and freshmen include Danny Markham, Henry Maxwell, Emily Whipple, Meghan Lucy, and transfer Corrinne Libby.

Vermont lost their coach to BC and their top skipper to URI. They are expected to take possession of 18 new Vanguard 420s, but their new coach has not been announced as of press time. Their women's team with Sara Cooper and Tiffany Spencer should be competitive.

Boston University graduated Eliza Burnes but Marissa White and Jen Baker return along with Joe Mattison.

Bowdoin should have a competitive women's team again. Mass Maritime and Salve Regina are also getting better and may be able to break into NEISA's top 12, which is significant in the largest of all college sailing districts.

NORTHWEST

University of Washington will miss graduates Ryan Zehnder, Willie Pirrie, and team captain Anne Teague Landis but strong returners and new freshman Brendan Fahey should make UW the team to beat in the Northwest once again. The team is enjoying the use of 10 Club Juniors and will continue to practice mostly in Union Bay. They remain a highly student-run team and are thankful to those graduates dedicated enough to stick around and help out.

The young Western Washington team is looking to again challenge the University of Washington for dominance in the NWICSA. Western returns both coed skippers from last year's team, juniors Justin Blevins and Colin McDonald. Western's women's team is also looking to make an impact in the Northwest this year with skipper Annie Johnson and crews Merrisa Moccia and Lisa Hawkins leading the way.

Washington State University lost Greg Jenness to graduation, but Mike Bickford, Brynn Randell, Randy Stevens, Chris Jenness, Leila Summers, and Erik Neilson still remain and should do very well with an additional year of experience. Although UW and WW will be tough to beat WSU should continue to be a force in the northwest.

PACIFIC COAST

Returning last year's Coed North Americans A Division winner, All-American Bryan Lake, and most of the rest of the team should leave Hawaii very strong both in-district and nationally. Both the coed and women's teams will surely miss graduated senior and All-American Molly O'Bryan. They will also miss All-American crew Jennifer Warnock, who along with Renee DeCurtis is red shirting the fall season. But a group of strong new freshmen including Tanner Marsh from San Diego as well as Scott DeCurtis from Redondo Beach and Jessica Rohr from Honolulu should see the Rainbow Warriors pick up just where they left off last spring--at the front of the fleet.

Stanford also suffered no loss of starters to graduation and it appears will only have to endure a fall hiatus by Peter Deming while he studies abroad. On the other hand they welcome several very strong freshmen recruits including high school champion Brian Haines from San Diego, Liz Rountree from the San Francisco Bay Area, and Chris Rali from Connecticut. Expect this seasoned coed group to continue to strengthen their position nationally and the women's team to be the force to reckon with in the west. A new boathouse and a fleet of 18 new Club Juniors should all arrive before spring to Redwood City giving the Cardinal plenty to keep their motivation up.

The USC Trojans are boasting strong returnees (everyone except All-American crew Tracey Treaccar who graduated and is interning in Washington D.C.), and a bevy of exciting new talent including single-handed, dinghy, and team racing high school national champion Mikee Anderson-Mitterling from Coronado, Calif., as well as high school stand-outs Eric Reiter from Santa Barbara, Jenny Hochschild from Huntington Beach, Calif., Lauren Bernsen from Coronado, Calif., and Josh Legg, from Wellesley, Mass. Six new boats (CJ's) will arrive this fall making USC the third team on the West Coast to have a fleet of 18 boats or more and thus enabling them to meet the demand of a growing team. Watch for the Trojan ladies to make a move nationally led by architecture major Katie Clausen (with two years eligibility left) who spent the summer studying abroad to make room in her academic schedule for a push in college sailing.

UC Santa Barbara graduated All American crew Suzy Galen and all district crew Kassy Thompson and the senior member on the team, Dana Jones. John Warnock and Isaac Gillette will be red-shirting this fall but will return for spring. The coed team has many returning sailors plus about six new skippers, including World Youth sailor Tedd White and fellow 29er sailor Jon Bell, who are looking to take the place of the seniors who will be out this fall. Lindsay Buchan and Jessica Clayton should provide strength to a returning women's team. As with many recent years UCSB can easily be a major force in district and around the nation.

UC Irvine continues to strengthen as their "program re-build" progresses. With over half a dozen strong new freshmen (Gloria Hanson, Corona del Mar, Calif.; Maria Aregood, San Diego; Donya LaHaye, Aptos, Calif.; Mike Brown, San Diego; Midori Shirakawa, Marion, Mass.; Hank Boland, Salt Lake City, Utah), the returning B division district champs (Carlos and Daniel Arsenault) and a host of other returning talented skippers (John Boyd, Jimmer Montgomery, and Jordan Korss) and crews (Emily Hemberger, Midori Shirakawa, Kelsey Cochran, Gloria Hanson, and Maria Aregood) they should have great practices with potential for major impacts regionally and nationally. Women's team leaders Lauren Maxam and Emily Robb will be joined by the freshmen and returnees and should continue their move upwards in the women's scene.

The biggest changes will be in coaching as Jonathon Posner, who as the driving force behind the revitalization of the Irvine program has received his PHD, gotten engaged, and moved north to the Bay Area. He will be guiding things from afar and a yet-to-be-named coach will take over daily operations in Newport Beach.

UC Berkeley will surely miss their starting skippers having graduated Chad Freitas, Jon Shinn, and Blaine Pedlow, 2002 ICSA Sportsman of the Year. But, they leave the team in good order with strong leadership in captain Abby Swann, a good core of returning sailors--juniors Samantha Treadwell, Margaret Wilson, James Learned, and Emery Sanford, and sophomore Kristin Maberry--and several strong incoming freshmen (Ryan Schultheis, Newport Beach, Calif.; Andrew Carlson Monterey, Calif., and Ann Conway, Stockton, Calif.). Also returning from time off are senior Sean Callagy and sophomore Chris Ward. Pedlow is planning to remain in the Bay Area and will provide guidance, coaching, and support as the team helps to solidify and build one of the great new venues in college and high school sailing at Treasure Island.

Former team Captains RJ Ward and Ben Dahlin as well as team treasurer Eric Kelly have all graduated from UC San Diego but are staying in the San Diego area and have graciously volunteered to return to the team as alumni to help with coaching and management. Erica McClure and Valerie Brossart, two varsity crews, are both leaving for Europe and won't be sailing next year. But this year's recruitment efforts have gone well with six incoming freshmen women with varying levels of experience and four incoming freshmen all with high school sailing experience. The most exciting news is that the UCSD sailing team budget has doubled in size due to numerous fundraising events and the passage of a new fee referendum at UCSD. With this new budget the team is in the process of buying four more CJ's and a chase boat is being donated. The team has made many new connections with experienced sailors in the San Diego area who have been willing to volunteer their time to coach the team. With all the new equipment, coaching, and fresh blood, the team (featured last year in SW as an "up and coming" school) looks to be continuing the trend.

SOUTH ATLANTIC

The College of Charleston looks as though they will dominate SAISA once again. Marcus Eagan and Seth Siegler have graduated so look for Andy Smith, John Bowden, and a few others to replace Marcus and Seth in the starting roles. No matter who starts for the Cougars, coaches George Wood and Boogie Dabney will have them sailing fast and smart by the spring and paired up with super crews Emily Taylor and Anne Bowen. On the women's team Charleston returns Roseanne Monti and Sarah Wilkenson. Both are talented sailors who led the Cougars to a seventh place finish at North Americans in May.

Eckerd College will be right on the heels of Charleston as it is returning 10 out of 12 of its sailors. Leading the coed team will be junior skippers Carson Turowski, Kevin Dooley, and Brandon Owen. The women's team will be led by senior Sarah Schaill, junior Becca Thomas, and sophomore Maddy Eustis. A strong presence will be felt from returning crews Megan Ehlers and Karen Pickering. With the exception of Pickering and and Eustis, all of these returning sailors have participated in the last two years of National Championships. Eckerd will also add Freshmen skippers Kellen Bernard, of Annapolis, Md., and Lindsay Neihmas of Newport, R.I., and crews Zach Goldman of Huntington, N.Y., and Caroline Burda of Houston, Texas.

Eckerd also plans to bring on a second coach to help develop the young talent while Head Coach Scott Norman will begin his third season with the Triton Sailing Team. The Eckerd College Waterfront Program will also expand its keelboat fleet to a total of four Colgate 26's

The University of South Florida missed out on Fleet Racing North Americans by one point and lost a tiebreaking race to Eckerd that kept them out of Team Race North Americans. You can bet that they will be up to the challenge this season. The coed team returns senior skippers Garth Reynolds and Mike Haase, and junior skippers Matt Hickman and John Hirsch. Kevin Reali will start sailing for the Bulls in the fall and he could be a key a player for USF in the future. Tufts graduate Kyle Shattuck will continue to coach the coed team.

The varsity women’s team will be traveling to many northern intersectionals this fall. The women’s team returns all of its 2002 North Americans sailors and will have some new faces as well. Senior skippers Genoa Griffin and Ali Deese will be joined by freshmen Kristen Herman of New Orleans and Abby Ethington of St. Petersburg, Fla. Senior crews Amber Cockburn, Claudia Aguado, and Amanda Olivier will continue to play an integral role in the Bulls’ success.

Look for the Citadel, Florida State, Rollins, and Tennessee to be competing for top spots in the district and keep an eye out for the possibility of a new team at Vanderbilt--a number of New England high school sailors will be attending school there in the fall.

SOUTHEAST

SEISA will have a number of exciting regattas this year as no team has a clear cut advantage. The University of Texas looks to have a little advantage with Spencer Ogden and Mike Curtin but Texas A&M; Galveston will also be tough. Look for Tulane to start making some noise with Joe Quick coming back in the spring to sail A division. Seniors Mike Quinn and John Greifzu, junior Rich Born, and sophomore Randy Batchelor will pick up the slack for Tulane while Quick is gone. Keep an eye out for University of South Alabama as they have a new part time coach in Donnie Brennan.

On the women's side, Texas, last years district champ, will be the team to beat with Texas A&M; Galveston not too far behind. Tulane will also fair well if they get a skipper to help out Cookie Dupont. Baylor and North Texas will also have decent women's teams.