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Tulsa Rowing Signs 10 for Fall 2014 Class

Nov. 26, 2013

Tulsa, Okla. - Head Rowing Coach Kevin Harris, who is in his 12th season, announced that 10 recruits signed to The University of Tulsa during the November early signing period. Rowers Kristy Covre, Elizabeth Hart, Madeline Lyons, Kristin Palilionis, Rachel Parks, Melissa Pepper, Gabriela Tucker, Lauren Vander Hoeven and Hannah Vissers, and coxswain Eva Trabucco will be coming to TU next fall.

"I am a very happy coach," said Harris. "This is an exceptional group of women who will definitely strengthen us over the next few years. TU is a great school, which is why we continue to be looked at by quality rowers in the United States and Canada. Having high caliber recruits leads to a faster team and I am excited about our prospects."


Kristy Covre (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada) comes to Tulsa after having competed three years at St. Francis Catholic Secondary School under Head Coach Greg Smith. She will join former St. Francis teammate Janelle Payne at Tulsa. Covre has also rowed for the St. Catharines Rowing Club (SCRC), where she has been coached by Kathy Boyes and Michelle Fisher. Covre has competed in many regattas including the Head of the Charles and the Royal Canadian Henley. She medaled in the 2012 CSSRA Championships for St. Francis and garnered Athlete of the Year honors from her team. In July 2013, Covre helped SCRC earn a silver medal at the Row Ontario Championships in the Under 19 Eight. She will study education and foreign languages at Tulsa.

Why Tulsa? "I chose Tulsa because I truly believe it will bring out the best in me athletically and academically."







Elizabeth Hart (Parker, Colo.) is a student and former soccer player at Chaparral High School. She competes for the Mile High Rowing Team where she is coached by Grace Malacrida. Hart will reunite with Mile High alumnae Rory Graham and Alana Bobka on Tulsa's team in 2014. In 2012, her Junior 8+ earned a bronze medal at the Head of the Oklahoma, and in the fall of 2013 she won gold in the Junior Women's 2x at the Wichita Frostbite Regatta.

Why Tulsa? "Tulsa gives me an incredible opportunity to grow academically and athletically. There is a great amount of talent on the team and I believe I can learn a lot from the coaches and my future teammates. Tulsa felt like home and I can't wait to compete for the Golden Hurricane."








Madeline Lyons (Seattle, Wash.) is a student at Garfield High School and has rowed for the Mount Baker Junior Crew. She is coached by Jenna Garasi and Jason Coffman. Coach Coffman is also a former head coach of The University of Tulsa. In 2012, Lyons rowed in a Lightweight 8+ that earned a bronze medal at the USRA Northwest Regional Championships and went on to race at the USRA Youth National Championships. In spring of 2013, her Varsity 8+ earned silver at the Brentwood Regatta and won the Portland Fall Classic. Lyons will reunite with former teammate Abigail Elggren at Tulsa and will study exercise science.

Why Tulsa? "I chose Tulsa because it is a great school with small class sizes so I can get to know my professors. I love the focused, positive mentality of the rowing team and the closeness that they share. I can tell that the Tulsa community will be like a second family for me."







Kristin Palilionis (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) is a student at the Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute and a member of the Kingston Rowing Club. She is coached by Brad Brennan and will join her former teammates, current freshmen Sarah Palilionis, her sister, and Jennifer Casson at Tulsa in 2014. In 2011, Kristin's Junior 4+ finished fourth at the CSSRA Championships, and in 2013 her Senior 8+ and Junior 4+ earned gold at the Eastern Ontario Rowing Championships. She also recently competed in the Rowing Canada National Championships in the Junior 2-. Kristin will study in the field of geosciences at Tulsa.

Why Tulsa? "I am very excited for many reasons. Academically I am looking forward to my enrollment in geosciences. Athletically I am looking forward to rowing with the Tulsa Hurricane rowing team. Under the guidance of Coach Harris I look forward to honing my skills and becoming a faster athlete. Oh and I almost forgot, I get to row with my sister!"







Rachel Parks (Oklahoma City, Okla.) is a student at Classen School of Advanced Studies in Oklahoma City and competes for Oklahoma City Riversport under the direction of Brian Ebke. She helped her Varsity 8+ record a top-20 finish at the 2011 Head of the Charles, and in she rowed in the 2012 USRA Central District Championships where she earned a bronze medal in the Varsity 4+ and a silver medal in the Varsity 8+. In 2013, Parks continued her outstanding contributions by helping the OKC Varsity 8+ make the final at the San Diego Crew Classic. Parks also won a Central District gold medal in the Varsity 8+, which earned OKC a bid to the 2013 USRA Youth Nationals. She will pursue a degree in mathematics at Tulsa.

Why Tulsa? "I chose Tulsa because the spirit and attitude at the school and within the team is something I respect immensely. I know this atmosphere is something I will cherish through my years at The University of Tulsa."







Melissa Pepper (Newport, Calif.) is a student at Edison High School in Huntington Beach, Calif. She is relative newcomer to rowing having completed only one year for the Newport Aquatic Center and Coach Marketa DeQuine. In her novice year at NAC she earned first-place finishes at the Head of the American, Newport Autumn Rowing Festival and Long Beach Christmas Regatta. Pepper also rowed in the San Diego Crew Classic and finished fourth at the USRA Southwest Regional Championships in the Novice 8+ and Novice 4+. She recently won the San Diego Fall Classic in the Varsity 4+. Pepper was a competitive swimmer for Edison before becoming a rower. She will study athletic training at Tulsa.

Why Tulsa? "Tulsa is so different from my Southern California life, but in the most perfect way. I fell in love with the campus the moment I saw it and after seeing the town, I knew it is where I am supposed to be for the next four years. I love the friendly interactions on campus and the small class sizes. The team and facilities solidified my decision to become a Golden Hurricane rower."







Eva Trabucco (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada) has been a coxswain for St. Francis Catholic Secondary and for St. Catharines Rowing Club. She has been coached by Greg Smith and Kathy Boyes. Trabucco has competed in many regattas including the Head of the Charles, West Side Invitational and the Mother's Day Regatta. In 2012, Trabucco coxed the SCRC Under 17 Eight to a win at the Row Ontario Championships, and a year later won silver at the CSSRA for St. Francis in the 59kg Four. She also coxed St. Catharines to multiple medals at the West Side Invitational and the Row Ontario Championships. Trabucco capped her summer by earning gold in the Under 19 Four and finishing second in the Under 19 Eight at the Royal Canadian Henley. Trabucco will rejoin St. Francis alumna Janelle Payne at Tulsa in 2014.

Why Tulsa? "I am so grateful for the opportunity to join Tulsa's rowing team. With great girls and an amazing coach, I am excited to come aboard, learn new things and help make Tulsa faster."







Gabriela Tucker (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) is a lightweight rowing standout at the Detroit Boat Club and a student at Grosse Pointe South High School. She has had a great junior rowing career, earning top three finishes in the Midwest Junior Rowing Championships for two of the past three years. In 2012, she rowed in a Lightweight 8+ that won the Midwest Championships and finished 18th at the USRA Youth National Championships. She helped her team follow that up in 2013 with a silver medal finish at Midwest and a fifth-place overall finish at Youth Nationals in the Lightweight 4+. Tucker won a bronze in the Intermediate Lightweight Pair at USRA Club Nationals and has served as team captain. She is coached by George Sleator at DBC.

Why Tulsa? "The moment I arrived on campus I loved it. After spending time with the team I felt like I truly belonged there. The rigorous academics and the successes of the team were draws. The deciding factor was feeling at home while I was there."







Lauren Vander Hoeven (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada) is a student at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School in St. Catharines where she is coached by Aaron Thompson. She also competes with the St. Catharines Rowing Club where she has been coached most recently by Kathy Boyes. Vander Hoeven has been a tough competitor and excels as a sculler and sweep oarswoman. She won the Junior 2x at the Stotesbury Cup in both 2012 and 2013, and brought home gold for Holy Cross in 2013 winning the Canadian Scholastic Championship in the Senior 2x. Vander Hoeven is a multiple gold medal winner at the Row Ontario Championships for SCRC, including a gold medal in the Under 19 Women's 4x, 4+, and 8+. She is also a two-time winner of the Canadian Henley. In 2012, her Under 17 Women's 4x triumphed and in 2013 she stroked the Under 19 4+ to Henley Gold. She will rejoin her teammate from the 4+, Janelle Payne, when she arrives at Tulsa. Vander Hoeven will pursue studies in nursing.

Why Tulsa? "There are many reasons why I chose to go to The University of Tulsa. When I visited the university, I immediately felt comfortable with the size, beautiful layout and general atmosphere of the school. The academic program was exactly what I was looking for, with small class sizes and student support available. I am also very excited to be a part of the Tulsa women's rowing team. Coach Harris is dedicated to the rowers and is committed to student-athlete success. His enthusiasm for Tulsa was contagious and I am looking forward to spending my university years as a Tulsa Hurricane!"







Hannah Vissers (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) is a student and competitor at the Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute and the Kingston Rowing Club where she is coached by Brad Brennan. In 2013, she helped KCVI capture the Canadian Eastern Rowing Association Scholastic Championships in the Varsity 8+ and 4+. Vissers was also fifth at the CSSRA Championships in the Senior 4+, and went on to compete in the 2013 Royal Henley Regatta where her boat advanced to the second round. She also recently competed in the National Trials for Canadian junior rowing in Welland, Ontario, where her Pair finished third. Vissers will be reuniting with former teammates Jennifer Casson and Sarah Palilionis who are both freshman at TU. She will pursue studies in biological sciences at Tulsa.

Why Tulsa? "Tulsa is a great opportunity academically and athletically. I loved the incredible support TU offers the student-athletes to help them achieve their goals."



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Contact Natasha Ostopovich at natasha-ostopovich@utulsa.edu