Rowing Announces the Signing of Seven for Incoming Class

February 19, 2013
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Feb. 19, 2013

NORFOLK, Va. - The Old Dominion University rowing team is pleased to announce the signing of seven lady rowers for the 2013-14 season: Emily Hughes (Grosse Pointe, Mich.), Shannon La Sala (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.), Erin O'Connell (Barrington, R.I.), Sabrina Paulsen (Everett, Wash.), Kimberly Shifflett (Woodbridge, Va.), Kennedy Stafford (Northfield, N.J.) and Elizabeth Waltz (Dripping Springs, Texas).

Head coach Daniel Garbutt is exited about his incoming freshmen saying, "It is my belief that this incoming class possesses great potential to further shape the direction of our young program. It was our goal to expand our recruiting footprint last season and I am pleased to say that this class reflects that expansion; I believe it ties in nicely with our University's recent conference realignment as we've added several student athletes from our new recruiting region."

All seven of these recruits signed last November and the ODU coaching staff continues to work avidly on recruiting, as they plan on signing even more recruits in April.

Meet the New Lady Monarchs
Emily Hughes will come to Old Dominion from Grosse Pointe, Mich. Hughes earned four varsity letters with the crew team at Grosse Pointe South High School from 2008-2013. Emily and the rest of her high school team claimed first place at the Midwest Championships and also captured fourth at the Head of the Hooch. Hughes is also well accomplished in the classroom, as she is a four-year winner the Academic Athlete Award. When asked why she decided to attend Old Dominion, Hughes responded with, "I believe I can thrive in the academic and athletic environment that Old Dominion provides. The size of ODU is perfect and it offers so many great opportunities for me."

Shannon La Sala attends Holy Spirit High School in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. Shannon has helped her team earn city, county, state and national championships throughout her young rowing career. La Sala placed first in the petite final at the U.S. Rowing Youth Nationals in 2012. She helped her team capture a state championship and runner-up finish at nationals in 2011. Also in 2011, on her way to a first place finish, La Sala was a member of the boat that broke the record for the fastest time in the lightweight 8 at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta. Shannon and the rest of her lightweight-8 team would harness the Stotesbury Cup again in 2012. La Sala said she picked ODU because, "Old Dominion offers great academic and athletic programs."

Erin O'Connell will join the Lady Monarchs roster from Barrington, R.I. O'Connell has been a member of the crew team all four years in high school. Erin captured a third place finish at the 2010 Head of the Housatonic Women's race. She took fourth at the NEIRA's Grand Final race in the spring of 2012 and again at the NEIRA's Petite Final in 2011. A standout in multiple sports, Erin finished in second at the Rhode Island State Championships in swimming in 2011. O'Connell said she chose Old Dominion because of the, "Academics, athletics, campus and overall welcoming environment."

Sabrina Paulsen will be venturing to Norfolk, Va. from Everett, Wash. Paulsen was a member of the Cascade High School crew team in 2011 and 2012 for Coach Padraic McGovern. Sabrina took first at the Head of Gorge and the Head of Elk in the fall of 2012. Paulsen's team captured the regional title in 2011. When asked why Paulsen is coming all the way from across the country to become a Lady Monarch, she responded with, "Because it is perfect for what I want to do."

Kim Shifflett joins Monarch Nation from Woodbridge, Va. Kim attended Woodbridge High School, where she rowed stroke and bow. Shifflett was named First-Team All-County in 2011 and 2012. Kim was also considering Louisville and Miami (Fla.) but said, "Old Dominion was the only school that I visited that I could actually see myself attending. ODU is close enough to home but also far enough away at the same time."

Kennedy Stafford is the second New Jersey native that will be an incoming Lady Monarch next season. Stafford reigns from Northfield, N.J., where she attended Mainland Regional High School and was a member of the crew team for all four years under coaches Jeff Garbutt and Chris Konick. Kennedy's team captured a city, county, and state championship in 2012 and finished second at the Stotesbury Cup that same year. Her team earned gold medals at the Navy Day Regatta and the Atlantic County Championships in 2011. Stafford won first place at the Garden State, Atlantic County, and Philadelphia City Championships in 2010. Kennedy also led her basketball team to a 9-1 record in 2009. Besides academics, the four-year member of the National Honor Society said, "Ultimately, it was the great team-feel and determined-mentality that made me choose Old Dominion."

Elizabeth Waltz, from Dripping Springs, Texas, participated in crew for the Austin Rowing Club under Coach Jennifer de Haas. Elizabeth holds multiple regional and state records in the 4 and 8+ races. Waltz won the gold medal at the Head of the Colorado Regatta and captured first place at the prestigious Head of the Chattahoochee Regatta in Tennessee. Elizabeth also ran cross-country in high school. Waltz said she selected Old Dominion because of the, "Great academic programs and student-athlete support. I also was interested in attending a large and developing university with a prestigious honors college."

Delighted assistant coach, Mike Lucey exclaimed, "We are very excited about this incoming class of Lady Monarch rowers. The overall level of athleticism and experience from this group will help us continue to build and develop our program to the highest possible level. Drawing from all the regions of the country, this class is a perfect example of how popular women's rowing has become. We are taking full advantage of our resources here at Old Dominion University and hope to continue to provide a unique opportunity for competitive junior women everywhere."

The Old Dominion University rowing team will begin spring training in Austin, Texas on March 3. Spring training will conclude on March 15, with a competition against the University of Texas. The Lady Monarchs will take on the Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina on March 23, which is the lone event of the season held in Norfolk, Va.