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Tulsa Rowing Signs Seven for 2012

The University of Tulsa rowing team added seven athletes, including six open weight rowers and a coxswain, to its 2012 roster.
The University of Tulsa rowing team added seven athletes, including six open weight rowers and a coxswain, to its 2012 roster.
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Nov. 22, 2011

Tulsa, Okla. - The University of Tulsa rowing team added seven athletes, including six open weight rowers and a coxswain, to its 2012 roster during the November signing period, as announced today by Head Coach Kevin Harris. The rowers include Alana Bobka (Aurora, Colo.), Emily Farrar (Pittsford, N.Y.), Ashley Lane (Olympia, Wash.), Angela Matel (Milwaukee, Wisc.), Kaity Swinford (Austin, Texas), and Samantha Tober (Ontario, Canada), while the coxswain is Helen "Lennie" Char (Saratoga, Calif.).

"I am really looking forward to having these young women on campus next fall," Harris said. "Our assistant coaches Rodney Mott and Taurii Coyne did an excellent job identifying and recruiting these student-athletes. They are smart, athletic and mature which is going to enrich our already talented team. We lose 17 seniors to graduation in 2012, so it is nice to see that we have a group of women coming in to help continue building on the successes the current seniors have had at TU."

Alana Bobka (Aurora, Colo.)

Bobka rows at the Mile High Rowing Club for Coach Grace Malacrida. She started 2011 by coming in second at the Mile High Erg Sprints and 16th in her division at the C.R.A.S.H-B Erg Sprints. Bobka had a stellar outdoor racing season in 2011, taking gold at the USRA Central Youth Championships in the Women's Four and Women's Pair. She and her teammates went on to the USRA Youth National Championships and earned a bronze medal in the Pair and a fourth-place finish in the Four. Most recently Bobka had multiple wins at the Head of the Oklahoma and Wichita Frostbite Regattas. She wants to study either chemistry or chemical engineering at Tulsa.

Why Tulsa?: "I loved the coaching staff as well as the chemistry within the team."

Lennie Char (Saratoga HS, Saratoga, Calif.)

Char is a coxswain at the Los Gatos Rowing Club for Coach Patrick Lynch. Char started as a lightweight rower at LGRC and has only been a coxswain for one year. She earned a gold medal at the 2011 Southwest Junior Rowing Championships in the Novice 8+ category. She intends on studying biochemistry while at Tulsa.

Why Tulsa?: "The TU Rowing team's community and optimism about their success in the future."

Emily Farrar (Homeschooled, Pittsford, N.Y.)

Farrar rows for the Pittsford Crew and Coach Sue Parvin. In 2011, Farrar's boats have been very competitive in upstate New York. Among many top finishes, she rowed in a Varsity 8+ that finished third at the New York State Championships in May, and most recently rowed for Pittsford in their Youth 8+ at the Head of the Charles finishing seventh in a field of 74 entries. Farrar is a multisport athlete who also competes in softball, ski racing and marksmanship. She is interested in studying exercise sport science while at TU.

Why Tulsa?: "I wanted a small Division I school, one where I wouldn't feel like "just another student. The team was very nice and welcoming like a family, and everything felt right."

Ashley Lane (Olympia HS, Olympia, Wash.)

Lane is an accomplished rower for Olympia Area Rowing, which is coached by Kirsten Flynn. In 2011, Lane rowed in OAR's Double that earned silver at the USRA Northwest Youth Rowing Championships. She then rowed at the Youth National Championships finishing fifth just behind current TU freshman Missy Urquhart in the Double Sculls. She is also an accomplished outdoorswoman. In the summer of 2011, she spent time in the Alaska's Denali National Forest working for the Park Service repairing trails and has recently hiked all 100 miles of the Wonderland Trail. Lane will study environmental science at Tulsa.

Angela Matel (Greendale HS, Greendale, Wis.)

Matel is a rower for the Milwaukee Rowing Club in Wisconsin. Originally, Matel was a volleyball player, but moved over to rowing just over 18 months ago. She is coached by Emily Caflisch and has competed at the Head of the Charles and many regattas in the Midwest. She wants to study biology at TU.

Why Tulsa?: "The team is looking to move up, which I love because I always have my mind set on becoming better."

Kaity Swinford (Austin HS, Austin, Texas)

Swinford is coached by Falesha Thrash at the Texas Rowing Center in Austin, Texas. Swinford's forte' is small boat rowing. In 2011, she earned a silver medal at the Texas State Championships and a gold at the USRA Central Youth Championships in the Quadruple Sculls. Her boat finished as the 12th-best crew in the nation at the Youth Championships. This fall her crew won the Head of the Oklahoma and placed third at the Head of the Hooch in the same event. Swinford is the daughter of rowers, as her father, Ted, rowed on the US National Team and her mother, Deborah, is a former coach at Syracuse and Stanford. Swinford is interested in studying history at TU.

Why Tulsa: "It felt like the right place for me. I visited a lot of schools but Tulsa is where I felt like I belonged. I just really wanted to be a part of that team."

Samantha Tober (E.L. Crossley HS, Welland, Ontario, Canada) Tober is an accomplished Canadian rower for E.L. Crossley High School and the South Niagara Rowing Club, where she is coached by John Ruscitti and Pat McNally. Tober had an outstanding 2011 spring season at E.L. Crossley where her Varsity 4+ won the triple crown of scholastic racing in North America. In a four week time period last May and June, her Four won the Stotesbury Cup in Philadelphia, the U.S. Scholastic Rowing Association Championships in Saratoga, N.Y., and the Canadian Scholastic Rowing Championships in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. She also earned a silver medal in the Quadruple Sculls at the Canadian Scholastics. Most recently her crew finished fourth in a field of 76 entries at the Head of the Charles and fourth of 80 entries at the Head of the Hooch Regatta. Tober will study accounting at Tulsa.



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Contact Natasha Ostopovich at natasha-ostopovich@utulsa.edu