Men's Rowing Elevated to Varsity Status

BOSTON, Mass. – The Wentworth Institute of Technology Athletic Department today announced the addition of men's rowing as a varsity sport, effective with the 2013-2014 academic year. Director of Athletics Angel Ayres also named Katie Lane as the program's head coach.

"Rowing has been a long-standing club sport here and I'm pleased to announce its elevation from the club level to varsity status," said Ayres. "They have proven over the years to be a very dedicated and accomplished program and I look for these traits to continue in the future."

The Wentworth rowing club traces its roots back to the early 2000s, when a group of energetic students commenced early-morning workouts in the fitness center of the Nelson Recreation Center. Momentum was gained and in 2005 the team began competing in races across New England and the Mid-Atlantic states. At the 2006 Dad Vail Regatta, the largest collegiate regatta in the country, the novice four-man boat had an impressive showing as the team advanced to the finals.

Over the course of the last few years, the team has continued to have an extremely competitive showing and has competed in numerous regattas in New England, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, while taking a trip to South Carolina to participate in training sessions over spring break. The team had an impressive showing at the 2013 Dad Vail Regatta as the men's varsity heavyweight four boat finished second and the lightweight four boat reached the semifinals. The experience gained at these regattas will help make the transition from club to varsity seamless.

"Overall, I'm very excited about the transition up to the varsity level," said Lane. "I know I can speak on behalf of the athletes when I say that we recognize that there is a lot of work ahead of us but we're ready to do what it takes to move up. I'm thrilled at the growth of the program as a whole over the past two years, knowing that we still have a ways to go."

Lane has been the club coach since 2011 and has helped the team in its recent success. A 2011 graduate of the University of Vermont where she was the coxswain on the Catamounts' team, she helped the team to a pair of New England regional championships during her junior and senior seasons. Prior to graduating from Vermont with a Bachelor's degree in English, Lane was accepted into the inaugural class of the Institute for Rowing Leadership in Boston. The youngest student in the class, she completed the program, which is the equivalent of a Master's degree in coaching rowing, in 2012. Lane is also actively involved in Community Rowing, where she serves as an assistant coach for the junior girls' program.

"As pleased as I am to announce the elevation of rowing from club to varsity status, I am just as pleased to welcome Katie to our department," said Ayres. "She has a tremendous amount of energy, experience, and passion for her sport. These attributes will help her as she leads our team to their first varsity season this fall."

"When I was initially asked what my ultimate goal was for my own coaching career, I stated that I wanted to be a Division III men's rowing coach," said Lane. "I thought that it was a reasonable goal considering my prior experience and current involvement with various programs. While I was shocked that this opportunity came only two years later, I'm confident in taking this jump because this is what I've been working towards."

Rowing will be the 15th varsity sport Wentworth offers, joining baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball, men's golf, men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse, men's soccer, women's soccer, softball, men's tennis, women's tennis, men's volleyball, and women's volleyball. The team will begin its fall season in September and continue until early November, while the spring season typically goes from March until early May.