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Porter Announces Class of 2017

Second varsity eight (Tim Bennett photo)
Second varsity eight (Tim Bennett photo)

Group Brings Strong Credentials

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Head coach Will Porter will welcome a strong class of rowers to New Haven this fall.

The Class of 2017 has a strong New England presence with Connecticut athletes, Jackie Cloud (New Canaan, GMS) Holly Geffs (Riverside, CBC), Emily Patton (Guilford, Hopkins) and Caroline Ostrover (Greenwich, Greenwich Academy). Joining them are three athletes from Massachusetts - Caroline Hart (Harvard, Bromfield H.S.), Olivia Maclean (Harvard, Bromfield H.S.) and Lydia Keating (Brookline, Brookline H.S.). In addition, there are two athletes from the United Kingdon -  Sara Locke (Chertsey, Sir William Perkin's School) and Schuyler Ritchie (London, Latymer Upper School) as well as Kate O'Brien from Clare, Ireland (Laurel Hill Colaiste). Rounding out the class is Casey Wizner from the Detroit Boat Club (Grosse Pointe, MI, Grosse Pointe South H.S.).

The class has international experience with Hart, Maclean, Keating and O'Brien all attending the Junior World Rowing Championships last year in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, as well as Locke and Ritchie being involved with the Great Britain junior team. All 11 incoming athlete row small boats - fours, pairs, singles and doubles.

"This is a solid group of athletes," Porter said. "I look forward to seeing what they can do when they get to Yale."

Here is a closer look at the Class of 2017:

Jackie Cloud
New Canaan High School            
New Canaan, CT

Quote: "Clouds come floating in my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky." --Rabindranath Tagore

Idol: My Dad

Major: I'm not really sure what I would like to major in, but definitely something in the Creative Writing/Film Studies area.

Why Yale: Yale has been a part of my life since I was a 6-year-old swimmer, diving into the pool for the first time.  Since then, the college has become a home of sorts, a place where I looked forward to visiting every time I got the chance. Once my knowledge of the campus expanded past the athletic complexes, I fell in love.  The brilliant professors, the active student lifestyle, the rich history, even the school colors all made me realize that there really is no college more perfect for me than Yale.

Porter Says: "Jackie is a great sculler, has overcome adversity and strikes me as a strong person. I look forward to working with her and seeing just how good she can become."

HS Coach: Guenter Beutter, GMS 

Holly Geffs        
Convent of the Sacred Heart                     
Riverside, CT    

Quote: "Just do it." –Nike     

Idol: My coach, Liz Trond, is a role model to me because she epitomizes athleticism and always guides me towards being the best athlete and person that I can be.        

Major: Anthropology and History 

Why Yale: "I chose Yale because I feel that the strong team and renowned university will help me to reach my athletic and academic goals.  I also love the sense of school unity and pride that I felt when I visited the Yale campus."

Porter Says: "We are excited about Holly's lengths and she has a great attitude."

HS Coach: Liz Trond CBC

Caroline Hart    
Bromfield H.S.                                                 
Harvard, MA               

Quote:  "It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."- Proverb

Idol: Hillary Clinton

Major: Political Science

Why Yale: "I chose Yale because there is no better place to pursue academics and athletics at the highest level. I was also struck with how much the students genuinely love their school."

Porter Says: "Caroline has been brought along the right way by Holly Hatton, her high school coach. She is already fast and has made the US JR team while her best years are ahead of her."

HS Coach: Holly Hatton

Lydia Keating    
Brookline H.S.                                  
Brookline, MA

Quote: "Dream a little. Sweat a lot." 

Idol: Chris Ernst. 

Major: Environmental Sciences

Why Yale: "People talk about the feeling of just knowing that a school is for them the moment that they step foot on campus. That is not quite what happened to me. Of course the beauty and energy of the campus is unreal but I didn't fall in love with the school until I started talking to Yale students. Every single person I spoke to was interesting, engaging, and friendly. As for the rowing team: I am honored and excited to be a new member of a team of outstanding women. I watched their intensity on the water and team unity on land. I cannot wait to be part that."

Porter Says: "Lydia brings energy into the mix. She is intense and passionate and will bring both to YWC. She rows big. As a member of the US JR team last year she gained experience in the pair. I am excited about her arrival."

HS Coach: Ethan Curran

Sara Locke          
Sir William Perkin's School        
Chertsey U.K.

Quote: "Nil nisi optimum" (Nothing but the best), a former school motto.

Idol: My brother, because he is the toughest (and strongest and biggest) person I know.

Major:  Biological Sciences

Why Yale:  "Yale offers an exceptional education and student body, in combination with superb athletics. The great food is a bonus!"

Porter Says: "Sara was literally born to be a Yalie.  As a member of the GB JR selection group he has trained at a high level. Her small boat skills will help her excel at Yale."

HS Coach: Jennifer Farmer.

Olivia Maclean
Bromfield H.S.                                                 
Harvard, MA               

Quote:  "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Idol: My idol is Kerri Walsh. She is a strong and inspirational woman for athletes and women across the world. 

Major: I am very interested in the economy and how the world runs. I am also very interested in how the political system functions and how different countries cooperate with one another. 

Why Yale: "I chose Yale because of the amazing student atmosphere. Everyone that I met on campus was very welcoming and happy. There are also amazing academic opportunities offered at Yale. The rowing team, while competitive, was also filled with very inviting and intelligent people. Yale was the perfect fit for me!"

Porter Says: "Olivia has also been mentored by Holly Hatton, is a USA JR team athlete with small boat experience and we expect her to just keep getting better."

HS Coach: Holly Hatton

Kate O'Brien     
Laurel Hill Colaiste    
Clare, Ireland

Quote: "The only workout you regret is the one you didn't do"

Inspiration: As clichéd as it may sound both of my parents inspire me. My father, a man of few words and my mother, a woman who makes up for my father's lack of words are an excellent team. Together they taught me to always strive to be the best I could be, and to never shy away from challenges. Over the years, they have made several sacrifices for me, and I view them as two of the most selfless people that I have ever encountered. Cliché or not, I honestly aspire to become like them in my life.

Major:  Everything

Why Yale:  "During my visit to Yale, I was overwhelmed to feel so at home despite being 3000 miles away from Ireland. The rowing team, coaches, faculty and staff were some of the most obliging and welcoming people that I have met. New Haven literally welcomed me with open arms. When I combine this with Yale's internationally renowned academic success and thriving women's rowing team, how could I not choose Yale?"

Porter Says: "Kate is a rare athlete. She has a big engine combined with the skill to race the single at the JR Worlds for Ireland. She will have fun at Yale finding her top-end speed on a big team"

HS Coach: Ritchie O'Brien

Caroline Ostrover 
5' 11"             
Greenwich Academy                    
Greenwich, CT

Quote: "I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.' " – Muhammad Ali

Idol:  My role models would be my parents for all of the support and motivation they provide to help me succeed.

Major: Economics

Why Yale:  "I chose Yale because of its combination of outstanding academic and athletic opportunities. At Yale, I will surely be challenged in both the classroom and on the water."

Porter Says:  "Caroline is a true rower. She is humble and hard working something we really like. She is a great fit for our program. I expect her to really come on strong at Yale."

HS Coach:  Dara Dickson

Emily Patton     
Hopkins School                               
Guilford, CT

Quote: "At the end of the day, the last thing you want to remember is the moment you gave up."

Idol: I am eternally grateful to my Hopkins rowing coach, Nat Case, who not only had an amazing career as one of Yale's earliest women's rowing coaches, but who also continues to dedicate his time to the sport today. He is the one who encouraged me to expect more from myself even when I wasn't sure that I could, and I've learned so much from him over the past three years.

Major: Right now, I'm still interested in everything.

Why Yale: "I think it goes without saying that Yale has earned its excellent reputation in both rowing and academics. But what attracted me the most to this school was the sense of community I felt on campus. It just felt right."

Porter Says: "Emily is a strong, self-starter. She is a determined athlete who will really push to be her best."

HS Coach: Nat Case

Schuyler Ritchie      
Latymer Upper School  
London U.K.

Quote:  "Do today what others won't so tomorrow you can do what others can't."

Idol: Sophie Hosking from the GB women's lightweight double scull - I hope to one day be in her position.

Major: English

Why Yale: "Yale combines arguably the best liberal arts education globally with a top notch Division 1 rowing squad.  I also love the residential college system and the easy access to New Haven from London."

Porter Says: "Sky is awesome. I cannot wait for her to get here and get in the mix. She is a true athlete, will be a great trainer as well as an accomplished small boat rower. Her experience with the GB JR squad racing at the Coupe de la Jeunesse will serve her well."

HS Coach: Hugo Gulliver

Casey Wizner      
Grosse Pointe South H.S.                            
Grosse Pointe, MI  

Quote: "There's a lot of blood, sweat, and guts between dreams and success." Paul "Bear" Bryant

Idol:  My idol is my sister, Taylor Wizner, because of her incredible work ethic and for always being there for me with just the right amount of honesty and encouragement.

Major: Pre- Med

Why Yale:  "I loved Yale the moment I first visited many years ago. The thought of being able to attend Yale and row for such a powerhouse team inspired me for a very long time. I kept hearing about the great people that make up Yale and that kind of spirit is contagious.  I chose Yale for its top competitive rowing program, unparalleled education, and its warm sense of community. Yale is a dream come true for me."

Porter Says: "Casey is a great fit for us.  She has shown great tenacity on her way to Yale and we expect her to just keep brining it."

HS Coach:  George Sleator