June 1, 2011

No. 8 St. Mary's Sailing Takes Fifth at Coed Nationals

Cascade Locks, Ore. – The St. Mary's College of Maryland coed sailing team put the final touches on their 2010-11 campaign with a fifth-place finish at the 2011 Gill/ICSA Coed Dinghy National Championship on Wednesday.  The Coed Dinghy National Championship is the third and final installment of the annual Intercollegiate Sailing Association championship series.  St. Mary's was the only school to produce three top 5 finishes this year with a third-place finish at the Sperry Top-Sider/ICSA Women's National Championship (May 23-26) and a fifth-place finish at the APS/ICSA Team Race National Championship (May 27-29).

Boston College claimed the 2011 title for their second consecutive coed crown, besting second-place finisher, Hobart & William Smith Colleges by 27 points.  Harvard University and Georgetown University finished third and fourth, respectively, ahead of St. Mary's.

Sailing in the final collegiate national championship for the Seahawks were graduating senior skipper Michael Menninger (Newport Beach, Calif.) and crew Franny Kupersmith (Alexandria, Va.) and Benjamin Lezin (Santa Cruz, Calif.) in A-Division while Megan Magill (San Diego, Calif.), John Wallace (St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg Catholic), Meredith Powlison (Shelburne, Vt.), Mimi Roller (Coral Bay, St. John, Virgin Islands/Antilles), Fletch Sims (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck), and Lezin handled the duties in B-Division.

Menninger skippered all 14 rotations in A-Division, leading the Seahawks to six top 3 finishes including a pair of first-place finishes in the seventh and 11th rotations.  St. Mary's notched a second-place finish in A-Division with 90 points, just nine points out of first behind Georgetown (81).

In B-Division, the Seahawks picked up a sixth-place finish following a head-to-head tiebreaker with the U.S. Naval Academy as both programs recorded 120 points.  St. Mary's tallied four top 5 finishes, including a pair of second-place finishes in the 10th and 14th rotations.

The Coed Dinghy National Championship commenced May 30 at 8:00 am with 18 qualified collegiate coed teams vying for the Henry A. Morse Memorial Trophy. It was a single round robin of racing that continued until the crowning of Boston College as the champion on June 1.

During the second day of competition, St. Mary's started the day out strong.  Although Hobart & William Smith suffered a disqualification in race 6B for a foul, sending them back in the scores, HWS managed to bounce back to third overall at the end of the day but only one point ahead of the Seahawks.  Menninger and Kupersmith had a great day, sailing very consistently and leading A-division at the end of the day.

"They are a really good team, a nice pairing.  They are super quick downwind and they stayed out of trouble.  They were also able to judge the lay lines well today, which has been troublesome on the racecourse," explained Adam Werblow, St. Mary's head coach.  Menninger also sailed a race with Lezin today as St. Mary's finished the day in fourth place overall.