Dec. 23, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut rowing team received five National Letters of Intent to join the team and enroll at UConn in the fall of 2014. Elizabeth Austin (Simsbury, Conn.), Shannon Cox (Millbrook, N.Y.), Katherine Lavrentios (Needham, Mass.), Rachel Signor (Sarasota Springs, N.Y.), and Aleksandra Torkelson (Troy, N.H.) all committed to UConn and will join the team in fall 2014.
"I couldn't be more excited about the future of our team with the addition of these five young women," said UConn head coach Jennifer Wendry. "We tell our recruits that first and foremost we want them to love UConn as a school. We then can talk about how rowing fits into their experience here as a college student. Alex, Shannon, Kate, Rachel and Liz already have the Husky Spirit and we can't wait to have them join the team next fall. Our coaching staff and team are excited for the opportunity to work with them as we are confident they will have an immediate positive impact as we move forward in the American Athletic Conference."
Elizabeth Austin (Simsbury High School): Austin is a four-year rower from Simsbury High School. Her accomplishments with Simsbury include a silver medal at the Connecticut State Championship in 2012. She plans on pursuing a bachelor's degree in art while at UConn.
Why did you pick UConn? "I picked UConn because of the amazing art department as well as the very competitive athletic program. When I visited, I could really see myself living on the campus as well as have the ability to create amazing memories there. Overall though, picking UConn just felt right!"
Shannon Cox (Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School): Cox is a multi-sport athlete and is in her fourth year rowing for Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School and her most recent accomplishment is finishing second in the varsity four at the 2013 New York State Championship. She is currently a member of the National Honors Society and will pursue a bachelor's degree in English at UConn.
Why did you pick UConn? "UConn appealed to me for both its athletics and its academics. I liked the sense of school spirit and support for their teams."
Katherine Lavrentios (The Kent School): Lavrentios is a two-year rower and in 2013 she helped Kent's varsity eight+ finish second at the NEIRA Championship regatta.
Why did you pick UConn? "After going to a small boarding school, I found the idea of attending a large university exciting. I loved the atmosphere at UConn. There is so much school spirit and everyone I spoke to there is so passionate and proud to be a Husky. Immediately after my visit, I knew that I wanted to be a part of this community and this team."
Rachel Signor (Saratoga Springs High School): Signor is in her second year racing with the Saratoga Rowing Association. In her first spring season of 2013, Signor helped SRA's varsity eight+ to a first place finish at the New York State Championship. She is currently a member of the National Honors Society and will pursue a bachelor's degree in nutrition at UConn.
Why did you pick UConn? "I chose UConn because of the Husky spirit. The first time I visited the University I fell in love with the campus. The reputation of the University's rigorous academic programs and world class academic and athletic facilities made me feel at home. When I met the coaching staff and the team, I knew UConn was the place for me. As soon as I met them, you could tell they were passionate about rowing and having fun with a desire to win."
Aleksandra Torkelson (Emma Willard School): Torkelson is a multi-sport athlete and a two-year rower. She currently serves as a boarding proctor for Emma Willard and recently won the PRI Adirondack Erg Sprint regatta. She also placed in the top 40 at the CRASH-B World Indoor Rowing Championships. She plans on earning a bachelor's degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in pre-physical therapy at UConn.
Why did you pick UConn? "I chose to become a Husky because I loved the team and the school! I loved that, as an academic institution, UConn offered me my two passions in one - a school and a major that will help me accomplish my goal of becoming a physical therapist and a community and team where I not only felt like I was gaining a family, but a team where I could push myself to become a better athlete and a better person."