Dec. 5, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Louisville rowing program announced the addition of nine future Cardinals during the early signing period in November.
The class of 2017 signing with the Cardinals includes Karina Baldwin, Gabi Biedenharn, Jenienne Curr, Nicole DiTommaso, Kylie Noltemeyer, Anne Pape, Chiara Ponko, Maddy Staubitz, and Mary Waldman. The Louisville coaching staff is excited about the group of athletes set to join the team next fall. The coaches describe the class as a hardworking and motivated group of athletes that will have a major impact on the team in the upcoming seasons.
"There's something about this group of athletes that really makes them shine," said Louisville head coach Derek Copeland. "Their unlimited potential, work ethic and boat-moving abilities will add another dynamic to the team."
Louisville Women's Rowing Recruiting Class (Graduating class of 2017)
Hometown: Windermere, Fla.
Club: Orlando Area Rowing Society
Baldwin is a coxswain for the competitive junior club, OARS out of Orlando, Fla. She was the junior women's varsity 8+ coxswain in 2012. She is very competitive, bold, and hard working.
Louisville assistant coach Becky Smith on Baldwin: "Karina comes from a very competitive team. She is a tough coxswain and an extremely hard worker. We are very excited to have Karina joining our Cardinal family."
Hometown: Loveland, Ohio
Club: Cincinnati Juniors Rowing Club
Biedenharn rows out of the competitive Cincinnati Juniors Rowing Club where she has competed at the varsity level for two years. She is very determined and has wonderful work ethic.
Louisville head coach Derek Copeland on Biedenharn: "From the moment Gabi stepped on campus, she knew and we knew that Louisville was where she would be starting her next chapter in life. Gabi is not only passionate about rowing, but also about the University of Louisville. We know she will make an immediate impact on the team."
Hometown: South Africa
Club: National Team, South Africa
Curr joins the Louisville Cardinals with a very stacked rowing resume. Most recently, Jenienne competed at the 2012 Junior World Rowing Championships where she earned a silver medal in the junior women's single. She also competed at Junior Worlds in 2011 where she placed sixth in the junior women's double sculls.
Coach Copeland on Curr: "She is a fierce competitor with great boat feel. She has solid rowing experience that includes a competitive edge that we know will be an asset to the team. Rowing in the U.S., will be a great opportunity for Jenienne and one we know she will be extremely appreciative of."
Hometown: Haddon Township, N.J.
Club: Haddon Township Crew Club
DiTommaso is a very talented, hard-working athlete with many rowing accolades. She led her team to a gold medal at the SRAA National Championships in 2012 in the junior quad as well as three gold medals at the Stotesbury Regatta in 2012. She continues to improve both on and off the water.
Coach Copeland on DiTommaso: "We are very excited to have Nicole join our team. She is a very strong, determined rower, with a lot of potential. Her competitive nature and will to succeed is the type of energy we thrive on here at Louisville and we know that she will make a huge impact immediately."
Hometown: Louisville, Ky.
Club: Louisville Rowing Club
Noltemeyer is a member of the Louisville Rowing Club that trains out of the boathouse next door to the University of Louisville training facility. She is one of the top performers in the club and a strong competitor for her size.
Coach Copeland on Noltemeyer: "Kylie has a love for the sport that is very contagious. Her positive energy fuels her commitment and determination. We saw right away that Kylie is the kind of kid who works really hard, and really loves rowing, and that's just the type of athlete we look for at Louisville. She will be a great addition to the team."
Hometown: Scotia, N.Y.
Club: Burnt Hills Rowing Association
Pape is a member of the Burnt Hills Rowing Association, where she coxed the junior women's quad that qualified for nationals in 2010. She is the team captain of her club and coxed the junior women's varsity 8+ at the Head of the Charles this year.
Coach Smith on Pape: "Annie is a strong leader and smart coxswain. Her great work ethic, positive personality and high level race experience will allow her to continue to grow at the next level."
Hometown: Cranston, R.I.
Club: Narragansett Boat Club
Ponko is a coxswain for both the masters and junior teams at her club. She has attended both the Sparks and Harvard Coxswain camps and always looks for the opportunity to learn.
Coach Smith on Ponko: "Chiara has shown great dedication to rowing and developing her coxswain skills. She has spent many hours in the coxswain seat coxing for two crews and attending several of the country's top coxswain development camps. Her dedication, commitment and knowledge will be a great asset to our team."
Hometown: Edgewood, Ky.
Club: Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club
Staubitz has rowed with the Cincinnati Juniors for only two years, having rowed in the lightweight 4 that competed at Nationals in 2012. She is somewhat new to the sport, but has the determination and dedication to become a top competitor.
Coach Copeland on Staubitz: "Having only a couple of years of experience, she has already done very well for herself. Maddy has the build for the sport. What she lacks in experience, she makes up for in her natural athletic abilities. She will improve leaps and bounds over the next couple of years and we can't wait to see her develop here at Louisville."
Hometown: Acworth, Ga.
Club: Atlanta Junior Rowing
Waldman rows out of the Atlanta Juniors program, having rowed in the varsity 8+ in 2012. She has solid boat-moving skills and a natural feel for the sport.
Coach Copeland on Waldman: "Mary is a bright young lady with a natural build for the sport. She has the potential to do some really great things at Louisville and will be a huge asset to the team next year."