GW Sailing Equals Best-Ever Finish at America Trophy
Kussmann Receives MAISA's Purrington Award for Contributions to College Sailing
April 14, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. & KINGS POINT, N.Y. - George Washington sailing matched its best-ever finish at the MAISA Coed Conference Championship - the America Trophy - with a 12th-place showing at Navy, and senior Skye Kussmann was honored with MAISA's Purrington Award for outstanding contributions to college sailing. GW also placed ninth at the MAISA Spring Open hosted by Merchant Marine.
GW totaled 415 points over 18 races on Annapolis' Severn River for 12th at the America Trophy, edged by a point by 11th-place Penn to narrowly miss its highest showing at the event. The 12th-place finish in the Colonials' first varsity season equals the club program's best billing in 2011. Georgetown won the event for the third straight year with 115 points, while Navy, Old Dominion, Hobart & William Smith, St. Mary's (Md.), Virginia, Maritime and Fordham captured the eight available bids to the national semifinals.
The senior duo of Ian Conners and Rebecca Engel totaled 207 points and placed 11th in A Division, while freshman Maria Sinagra and junior Kaitlin Denney amassed 208 points for 13th place in B Division. In 12th place after 12 races on Saturday, the Colonials climbed to 11th with five top-10 showings in early Sunday racing, but were eventually edged by the Quakers in the final session. Conners and Engel posted five top 10 finishes over the two days, peaking at fourth in Sunday's first race. Sinagra and Denney had six top 10 finishes, also peaking at fourth in Race 15.
"I think we definitely made a step forward compared to the fall where we finished 15th at the conference championship," said head coach John Pearce, whose name is etched on the ICSA All-America plaque at the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Hall of Fame housed inside Navy's Robert Crown Sailing Center. "It came down to a point between us and Penn for 11th, which is a good spot to be battling for at this point, but it just goes to show that every point counts. Our level of comfort with competing at this level is much better than the fall, we made a big step forward in that regard. We're more of a team that can contend with top-level MAISA groups and hopefully next year we'll be contending for a spot at nationals."
Kussmann was chosen from a group of nominees that included Gordon Wolcott from Virginia and Della Bradt from Cornell as the recipient of the Purrington Award, given each year to the graduating senior from MAISA who has made outstanding contributions to college sailing through his/her efforts, not only by competing, but in the promotion of the sport, by fostering sportsmanship among teams, maintaining quality of competition, and contributing to the overall performance of the conference. The recipient is not necessarily the best sailor in MAISA but embodies the selfless spirit of true competition and commitment to excellence in support of college sailing in the conference.
At the MAISA Spring Open at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, GW totaled 147 points in eight races on Sunday to finish ninth, one point behind eighth-place Syracuse. Hobart and William Smith Colleges captured the title with 35 points.
Freshman Hannah McNomee and sophomore Meagan Murphy placed 11th in the A Division with 84 points, posting a pair of top 10 finishes, including a high of seventh in Race 5. The B Division duo of freshmen Benjamin Helfand and Alix Suter finished in the top 10 in half of its eight races, topping out at second in Race 4 and third in Race 5, en route to ninth place with 63 points.
GW completes its first season as a varsity program at a pair of regattas next weekend, April 20 and 21. The Colonials will send sailors to the MAISA Women's Conference Championship in Hampton, Va., and the Arrigan Memorial Regatta at its home Washington Sailing Marina in Alexandria, Va.