May 27, 2016
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University rowing coach Jimmy King has added six rowers to his squad as Gabrielle Boylan, Hannah Hammon, Alissa Johnson, Lindsay Krawczyk, Madisyn Lee and Hannah Simmerly will join the Mountaineers for the 2016-17 season.
“Our newest Mountaineers will add much needed depth to next year’s team,” said WVU coach Jimmy King. “Experience levels vary quite a bit among the group, but any of them could develop into a prominent role in their first year.”
Boylan comes to Morgantown from Cleveland, Ohio, where she was a member of the Cleveland Youth Rowing Association and was named the team captain her junior and senior year. As a coxswain, Boylan competed in the CYRA 4+ at the 2014 and 2015 Head of the Charles in Boston. She intends to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing at WVU.
“I chose WVU because I felt a sense of family with the girls and the coaches,” Boylan noted. “I knew that I would be more than just an athlete. Academics are just as important, if not more important. It is a perfect balance. I found few programs that allowed me to major in nursing and compete as an athlete.”
Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Hammon attended Bishop Watterson High and competed for the Dublin Crew Club. Previously a swimmer, Hammon began her rowing career in the summer of 2014 and was voted the most valuable rower a season later. She placed first at the 2015 Midwest Championship Erg Sprints and finished third in the Women’s Youth 2x B Final at the 2016 Dogwood Juniors Regatta. She intends to pursue a bachelor’s degree in communications and graphic design at WVU.
“I chose WVU when I took my visit,” Hammon stated. “I loved the campus and the team. I wanted to be on a team that would make me better, and I wanted to be on a team that I would make a difference on. In the end, I knew WVU could do both for me.”
Johnson joins the Mountaineers from Huntsville, Alabama, where she has competed for Madison County Rowing and Watersports since the fall of 2014. Prior to rowing, Johnson played soccer for Huntsville High and competed on several club soccer teams for more than 12 years. She was named the 2015-16 rowing captain and raced at the 2015 Head of the Charles in Boston. She intends to pursue a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology at WVU.
“I chose WVU over any other school that was closer to where I’m from because of the accessibility to everything on campus and how natural everything is,” Johnson explained. “Everyone that I talked to was very knowledgeable and approachable. The school and town also had a natural charm to it. There are so many opportunities and activities that you can be a part of that you forget it’s supposed to be a small town.”
A native of Maryville, Tennessee, Krawczyk attended Maryville High and rowed for the East Tennessee Rowing Organization. At the 2015 Club Nationals, Krawczyk placed third in the lightweight 4+ event. She also finished first in the lightweight 4+ and second in the lightweight 1x at the 2015 Head of the South, in Augusta, Georgia. Additionally, Krawczyk placed fifth in the novice 1x at the 2015 Head of the Hooch in Chattanooga, Tennessee. For her efforts, Krawczyk earned the stroke seat in the varsity eight boat during the 2016 spring season. She placed second in the second varsity four race at the 2016 Southeast Youth Championship and third in the lightweight 4+ event at the 2016 Dogwood Invitational. Krawczyk’s sister, Lauren, currently rows at Tennessee. She intends to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing at WVU.
“I chose WVU for the overall campus atmosphere and team dynamic,” Krawczyk said. “Everyone was very welcoming and friendly around campus. The team made me feel like I was already a part of something. I saw them at practice. They pushed each other to better themselves. Not only did each rower have a goal for themselves to be stronger than the day before, but they also had a common goal to be the best crew that they could be. I knew from the start that WVU was the place for me.”
Hailing from Gloucester, Virginia, Lee joined Mathews High rowing squad her freshman year of high school. Throughout her high school career, Lee placed second in the 2x and fourth in the 4x at the 2014 and 2016 Virginia Scholastic Rowing Championship, respectively. Additionally, Lee finished third in the Women’s U17 4+ at the 2014 Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. She intends to pursue a bachelor’s degree in forensic science.
“I chose WVU because it was the perfect fit for my intended forensic science major,” Lee noted. “The collaboration between WVU’s forensic program and the FBI was incredibly impressive to me. In addition, the rowing team instantly won me over by welcoming me with open arms and showing me what true athletic and academic excellence looked like.”
Simmerly comes to Morgantown from Cleveland, Ohio, where she was a member of St. Joseph’s Academy rowing team. Simmerly was a two-sport athlete during her freshman and sophomore year, as she competed for the rowing and women’s soccer programs. She was named the 2015 rowing captain and placed fifth in the junior varsity eight at the 2015 SRAA Nationals. At the 2016 Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championship, Simmerly placed first in the second varsity four and fourth in the second varsity eight event. Of note, Simmerly also has a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do, a traditional Korean karate. She intends to pursue a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.
“I chose WVU as my home for the next four years because the team and the coaches reminded me of my own high school team” Simmerly explained. “I knew that WVU would be a great environment for me to excel in. I’m ecstatic to be a Mountaineer.”