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Boat Club Rowers Make Top College Picks

Some parents wonder whether high school students can combine academic and athletic success, but the Norwalk-based Connecticut Boat Club provides a compelling conclusion. Ten girls from the club, which won three gold medals at last year's U.S. Junior Nationals, have firmed up college commitments. They will be competing for some of the nation's finest rowing programs at some of the country's most prestigious academic schools.

The list of CBC rowers committed to colleges include Southport's Lucy Grinalds at Harvard; Fairfield's Maddie Stearns at the University of California-Berkley; Darien's Whitney Ruhlin at Brown, Christine Bragg at UCLA, Emily Crump at University of Virginia and Alex Enzor at Duke; Greenwich's Maria Lycouris at Cornell, Abbie Frey at Cornell and Heather Oudheusden at Dartmouth; and Norwalk's Katherine Isaza at Syracuse.

"It's highly unusual to have this amount of girls going to these schools,'' proud coach Liz Trond said. "We had a lot of people work very hard academically and athletically."

Trond said the girls, not surprisingly, did their homework in selecting their colleges. "They chose places that fit them academically and in athletics. It's a wide range of schools. They all took the time to find the spot that will fit them best."

Virtually all of the schools were ranked among the Top 20 in the nation in rowing in the final college poll at the end of last season. Most of the girls have been with Trond for several years. Stearns joined the team in the fall of 2009 to prepare for high school lacrosse. Now she will row for a team that finished third in the national rankings last year.

"I'm so happy for them,'' Trond said. "It's a great reflection on them. Now they can focus on having a nice senior year without the pressure of deciding on a college."

In picture: Front row, left to right: Maddie Stearns, Maria Lycouris, Alex Enzor, Katherine Isaza.

Back row, left to right: Abbie Frey, Lucy Grinalds, Emily Crump, Christine Bragg, Heather Oudheusden and Whitney Ruhlin.

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