Women's Lightweight Crew Welcomes Seven Newcomers in 2019-2020

Headshots of the seven incoming first-year student-athletes for the MIT women's lightweight crew team.

Cambridge, Mass. (August 6) -- The MIT women's lightweight crew team welcomes seven newcomers to the program for the fall of 2019, as announced by head coach Claire Martin-Doyle.

"We have a well-rounded incoming class of rowers and coxswains who we're excited to welcome to our team," said Martin-Doyle.

This year's class includes Sophia Chen (Clearwater, Fla.), Vivian Lo (Westport, Conn.), Sophie Longawa (Seattle, Wash.), Kathleen Love (Arlington, Va.), Julia Van Cleef (Ormond Beach, Fla.), Tatum Wilhelm (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Alexis Yang (Laguna Beach, Calif.).

Chen, who rowed for the Stewards Foundation and attended Palm Harbor University High School, also competed in martial arts and tennis. She was also a member of Mu Alpha Theta, the Science National Honor Society and the National Honor Society, as well as a National Merit Finalist.

Lo, who attended the Pierrepont School, finished 16th in the lightweight eight at the 2018 Youth Nationals. In addition, she was a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist and an AP Scholar with Distinction.

Longawa, who attended Holy Names Academy, finished third at the 2019 Youth Nationals (Varsity 8+), third at 2018 Youth Nationals (Lightweight 4+), third at the Head of the Charles (4+) and a five-time regional champion. She is a three-time varsity letter winner, a member of the National Honor Society, the class salutatorian, a National Merit Finalist and an AP Scholar with Distinction.

Love, who competed at Yorktown High School, was a 2019 Washington Post Spring All-Met Girls' Rowing Honorable Mention selection, the 2019 Outstanding Rower and Team MVP and a three-time recipient of the Coach's Award in 2016, 2017 and 2018. She also finished first at the Independence Day Regatta, U19 4+, with TBC Racing, as well as in the First Eight. Love, who also ran cross country, finished first in the 2017 Lightweight 8+ VASRA State Championship, the MidAtlantic Erg Sprints Lightweight Women 1,500m and the 2017 MidAtlantic Erg Sprints. In the classroom, she received the National Merit Charles S. Robb Scholarship, won the 2018 Herndon Memorial Science Competition and received the 2017 Spanish Excellence Award.

Van Cleef, who attended Spruce Creek High School and was the captain of the Halifax Rowing Association as a senior. She placed third in the JV4+ FRSA Sweep Championships as a junior and received the Rowing Leadership Award as a senior. In addition, Van Cleef was a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta and the Spanish Honor Society. She is also a National AP Scholar, a National Merit Scholar Finalist and the Foreign Language Student of the Year as a senior.

Wilhelm, who was the captain of the Newport Sea Base Women's Team in 2018-19, was named as the 2016-17 Most Improved Athlete and earned a spot on the 2018 USRowing Scholastic Honor Roll. She was also third in the Intermediate LW 4x at 2018 Club Nationals, President/founder of the CDM Animal Rights Club and the Editor-in-Chief of the online science publication The Student Scientist. Wilhelm was also a Questbridge finalist, a Questbridge College Prep Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction.

Yang, who rowed for the Newport Sea Base Rowing Club and attended Laguna Beach High School, was the head coxswain in 2019 at Newport Sea Base Rowing. She medaled at the 2018 Southwest Regionals in the Ltwt. 4+, was in the top 10 at the 2018 US Rowing Youth Nationals and finished in the finals at the 2019 Southwest Regionals in the Ltwt 4+. Yang was a National Merit Finalist, an AP Scholar with Distinction and the Laguna Beach Junior Citizen of the Year. She also received the Honors Chemistry Award for Excellence and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

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