Athletics Hall of Fame

1996 Girls Crew

Class of 2016

The 1996 Girls Crew Team made history when it won the ISL, New England, and National Championships. The first boat was made up of coxswain, Sara DelRosso ’97; stroke, Jill Walsh ’96; 3-seat, Jenny Sherman ’96; 2-seat, Katrina Letson ’97; and bow, Alison Silveira ’97. During their championship run, the boat broke the course record at the New England Championships. The boat went on to the Henley Royal Regatta, making it to the semi-finals.

Coming off a third place finish in the 1995 season, the entire team had something to prove. Coach Lou O’Brien was in her second year at Nobles. The team quickly coalesced, creating great camaraderie between the four boats. Walsh, who was the stroke on the first boat, recalls, “What I remember most clearly is the amazing camaraderie of the team. Everyone was really supportive—all four boats were so fast and yet there was just complete love for everyone.”

To say that all four boats were fast would be an understatement. The team put together an undefeated season, easily clinching the ISL Championship, which allowed them to enter New Englands full of confidence. “Yes we were fast” said Coach O’Brien, “yes, we killed everyone, but it was the collective passion from the entire team that led to such success.” Nobles made history at the New England championships in the spring of 1996. Nobles completed a four boat sweep, and the first boat beat the course record. Their record of 5:18.3 still stands to this day.

The first boat was invited to participate in the National Championships in Cincinnati, Ohio. Within two days of the competition Nobles was the top seed in the Grand Final. Going up against the fastest boats in the country, the first varsity boat shattered the course record by 12 seconds, winning the race by 12-15 lengths. It was a remarkable achievement that capped off a truly historic season that earned an invitation to the Henley Royal Regatta.

All five rowers went on to compete at the collegiate level following their success at Nobles. Sara attended Dartmouth; Jill went on to Harvard; both Jenny and Katrina rowed at University of Virginia; and Allison competed at Michigan.

Looking back on their achievements, Coach O’Brien remarked, “The 1996 women’s rowing team at Nobles was comprised of some of the hardest working, most enthusiastic, and dedicated rowers with whom I have had the pleasure of working.” Their hard work paid off, and created a truly special moment for the entire school.

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2016 Hall of Fame 1996 Girls Crew