Porter Welcomes 10 Rowers In Class of 2012

Will Porter.
Will Porter.

Jan. 25, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Head Coach Will Porter announced that 10 rowers, one from Australia and nine from the United States, have been accepted to Yale as part of the Class of 2012.

"Our incoming class represents the university's and athletic department's philosophy which is to identify the best and the brightest student athletes from all over the world," Porter said. "Their impact will be immediate on both our talent level and roster size. Throughout their four years at Yale, they will be part of a university where time-honored traditions, compelling change and challenges both in the classroom and on the water co-exist on a daily basis."

Armine Afeyan • 6-1 • The Winsor School • Lexington MA . Afeyan started rowing in the spring of her sophomore year at Winsor. In the summer of 2007, she rowed with CRI and raced at the Canadian Henley, finishing second in the Junior Eight. She also plays basketball at Winsor. In her junior year, the basketball team went undefeated and won the league championship. She is captain of both her basketball team and crew team at Winsor.

Inspirational quote: "You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do." Henry Ford
Idol: Samantha Power -Yale Grad- wrote A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide
Quoting Porter: "Armine is exceptionally strong and excited about rowing. She made great strides last summer with CRI and is just starting to find her way in rowing. I am excited about the prospect of coaching her for the next four years."

Dara Dickson • 6-0 • Acalanes HS • Lafayette, CA

Dickson started rowing in the fall of her junior year with Oakland Strokes. She ran cross country as well as track for her high school in her freshman and sophomore years, and qualified for sectionals her sophomore year. In 2007, she was invited to the USA Junior Development camp where she stroked the quad to gold at USRowing Club Nationals.

Inspirational quote: "Either we fight now as a team or we will die as individuals"- Any Given Sunday
Idol: Father
Quoting Porter: "Dara is a rising star in the USA junior team mix. In just one year of rowing, she stands a good chance of racing at a very high level. I am excited to see her spring results and look forward to her racing for Yale."

Katherine Dyke • 6-0 • Phillips Exeter Academy • Gastonia, NC

Dyke started rowing in the spring of her sophomore year at Exeter. In 2007, she was part of Exeter's New England Championship team. She also plays varsity basketball. Prior to Exeter, she was part of a North Carolina Division 1A State Championship basketball team. Her father played basketball at Duke under Coach Krzyzewski and sister currently rows at Duke.

Inspirational quote: "All for one, one for all"
Idol: Ernestine Bayer
Quoting Porter: "Katherine comes to us highly recommended. She is young and new to the sport but clearly on the move. She is athletic and will progress well at Yale."

Nikki Grigg • 6-0 • National Cathedral School • Washington DC

Grigg started rowing her freshman year and has rowed in the first varsity since her sophomore year. She also rows for Thompson's Boat Club in the fall and has raced with them at the Head of the Charles for the past two years.

Inspirational quote: "Today I gave all that I had. What I have kept, I have lost forever."
Idol: High school coach Amy Weatherby
Quoting Porter: "Nikki has great height and the potential to be a successful Division I rower. I am very excited to see her develop within our system."

Catherine McDermott • 5-10 • Phillips Exeter Academy• Cazenovia, NY

McDermott started rowing the spring of her freshman year at Exeter. At Exeter she is a two-sport athlete running indoor track as well as rowing. In 2006 and 2007 she rowed in the Exeter first varsity that won the NEIRA Championship. Her twin sister Lizzy will also row at Yale.

Inspirational quote: "We yearn for what we fear", "In any fight it is the guy who's willing to die who's going to win that inch." Any Given Sunday
Idol: Dad and sister
Quoting Porter: "Cathy's record speaks for itself, she too knows how to train, focus and win and I also look forward to her doing it here at Yale."

Elizabeth McDermott • 5-10 • Phillips Exeter Academy • Cazenovia, NY

McDermott started rowing in the spring of her freshman year at Exeter. At Exeter she runs indoor track as well as rowing. Prior to Exeter, she was the Division III national champion in fencing and fifth overall nationally. In 2006 and 2007, she rowed in the Exeter first varsity that won the NEIRA Championship. Twin sister is Cathy.

Inspirational quote: "A champion is someone who sweats to exhaustion, even when no one else is watching."
Idol: Former teammate Jessica Flakne
Quoting Porter: "Just like her sister, Lizzy's record shows she is a winner. She knows how to train, she knows how to focus and she knows how to win. I look forward to watching her do it at Yale. We are extremely lucky to have both McDermott sisters joining our squad."

Kathleen O'Keefe • 5-10 • Woodrow Wilson HS • Washington, DC

O'Keefe started rowing in ninth grade and in 2007 she rowed on the USA Junior High Performance team that competed in Berlin, Germany. A two-sport athlete at Woodrow Wilson, she plays soccer and rows.

Inspirational quote: "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"
Idol: Her parents
Quoting Porter: "Kathleen is coming into her own as an athlete. I look forward to her development in our program, and I see her as a major contributor to our future success."

Lauren Richards • 6-0 • The Branson School • Belvedere CA

Richards started rowing at Marin Rowing Club her freshman year. She has raced in Marin's first varsity since her sophomore year and has raced in the San Diego Crew Classic, SW Regional Championships and National Youth Championships.

Inspirational quote: "Give every inch" team motto
Idol: Friends, Coach Sandy Armstrong and teachers
Quoting Porter: "Lauren is a humble hard worker with plenty of ability. She is very modest about her accomplishments in rowing and downplays her ability. She will fit in well with our system. I anticipate her being a big part of our team."

Georgia Separovich • 5-11 • Loreto Normanhurst • Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia

Separovich started rowing at age 13 in high school. In 2006 she was third in the U17 pair at the Australian National Championship and second at the Head of the River in the schoolgirls 2x. She was elected Captain of Boats in her senior year and named Loreto Normanhurst Most Outstanding Rower. Separovich is a three-sport athlete at Loreto.

Inspirational quote: "It's meant to be hard, if it wasn't hard everyone would be doing it. It's the hard which makes it great." "Make your blade a water-seeking missile" Chris Allsopp
Idol: Marie Bashir. She is an inspiration as she is the first woman to be appointed Governor of NSW. Marie Bashir exemplifies an educated woman whom strives to achieve social justice through her powerful role in today's society.
Quoting Porter: "Georgia is a three-sport athlete and a serious rower. She is technically skilled in small boat rowing as well as physically strong. She will bring a wealth of rowing knowledge with her to Yale. I look forward to guiding her progress for the next four years."

Mary Jo Toothman • 5-7 • St Andrews School • Waynesburg, PA

In 2007, Toothman rowed on the USA Junior High Performance team that competed in Berlin, Germany. At St Andrews she also plays field hockey and swims. Her older brothers are both collegiate rowers - George at Harvard and Henry at California.

Inspirational quote: "You get what you give."
Idol: None
Quoting Porter: "MJ brings toughness to our team. She is extremely strong for her size and an exceptional athlete. She has a solid sense of self. I anticipate exciting things from her."