BETHLEHEM, Pa. - With the 2011-12 school year rapidly approaching, Lehigh head rowing coach Brian Conley has announced the team’s captains for the upcoming season. Seniors Jackie Ogden and Ainsley Timmel, and junior Ravenna Wilkins, have been selected to captain the women’s squad while senior Bryce Hurst and junior Chris Daniels will captain the men.
“I am very proud to announce the captains for the 2011-2012 season,” said Conley. “These student-athletes were selected by their teammates to take the reigns of the program and lead it to success. The team has selected five athletes that truly complement each other in their leadership styles and are among our hardest workers.”
Leading the way on the women’s side is Ogden, a back-to-back All-Patriot League honoree. The three-time captain and three-time member of the Varsity Eight, Ogden was one of only four rowers last spring named to both the All-Patriot League and Academic All-Patriot League teams.
“Jackie is the definition of hard work,” said Conley. “She is one of the most consistent and ever-improving athletes who I’ve coached. She not only likes to lead by example, but is also able to step up when needed. She provides tremendous leadership off the water as well in leading the team academically. Jackie helped last year’s team begin to find success and will be looked upon to continue that development.”
Timmel, a fellow senior, has been strong for the Mountain Hawks on the water and in the classroom. She enjoyed continued success as a junior, sitting in the stroke seat for her Varsity Eight crew that won the Neuweiler Plate and also leading her crew to a come-from-behind victory over Lafayette in the River Cup.
“Ainsley is the athlete who believes anything is possible,” said Conley. “While being one of the strongest academically, Ainsley does not give up when she has an oar in her hands. Ainsley is also a consistent performer on the team and is an incredible leader at the boathouse to make sure all the crews understand the balance between hard work and fun. Ainsley will be a huge asset in taking the team to the next level this coming year.”
The final women’s captain is Wilkins, a junior and two-time member of the Varsity Eight. Last year, she led her crew to wins in the Neuweiler Plate and River Cup while helping the Mountain Hawks nearly double their point total at the Patriot League Championships.
“Ravenna has a great deal of racing experience and is the workhorse of the program,” said Conley. “Her positive attitude is infectious and keeps things moving toward success. While being one of the smallest student-athletes on the team, she is one of the strongest athletes we have. She is not afraid to voice her opinion and keep the team focused on the goals of the program. Ravenna will be looked at to make sure the younger athletes remain focused and develop into racers.”
Leading the way for the men is Hurst and Daniels. Hurst is a three-time member of the Varsity Eight, including his freshman season when his Varsity Eight crew placed fifth at the ACRA National Championships.
“Bryce is a lead-by-example type of athlete, who was consistently the top erg score on the team last year,” said Conley. “He is consistently the guy who everyone looks at to see how hard they should pull. Bryce will be looked at to help develop the younger athletes into learning what it takes to race at the top level.”
Also a member of the Varsity Eight, Daniels saw significant action as part of the Varsity Four crew a year ago. A number of top finishes included advancing to the second round of the Knecht Cup and finishing second in the Neuweiler Plate final, among others.
“Chris is one of the toughest athletes I have come across,” said Conley. “His young career has been plagued by injuries, but he is the type of athlete that shows up anyway and makes sure that whatever he is doing is as hard as he can go. His persistence and positive attitude is what we try to teach amongst the athletes and Chris is the embodiment of that. He will be looked at to help raise the bar of expectations just that little bit more that the team needs.”
“I am very proud and excited to get the season going with their leadership and the goals that they have set to achieve for this coming year,” said Conley. “It will be a season to watch with these fine student-athletes at the helm.”