Duquesne Rowing Signs Six Student-Athletes
Serena Benages

Dec. 6, 2013

This November Duquesne rowing signed six student-athletes during the early National Letter of Intent period.

"With five rowers and one coxswain we have a great core freshman class for 2014 that we will continue to build on," said Assistant Coach Jenn Langzettel. "We are looking forward to what they will all add to our program."

Duquesne Rowing Class of 2018

Serena Benages (5'11"/Wellesley, MA/Wellesley High School) comes to Duquesne from Community Rowing Incorporated (CRI) in Boston. Under Coach Veronika Platzer, Serena rowed her way to a 3rd place finish at the Northeast Junior Championship in the spring of 2013, a 30th place finish out of 85 entries at the 2013 Head of the Charles Regatta, and a 2nd place finish at the 2013 Head of the Fish Regatta. The daughter of Tamara Sielecki and Jim Benages, Serena is a member of the Youth Chorus as well as the Art and Culture Club while also volunteering with her youth group. During her four years at Duquesne Serena will major in Education.

Jean "Gigi" Geary

Jean "Gigi" Geary (5'1"/Bryn Mawr, PA/Agnes Irwin School) comes to the Bluff from The Agnes Irwin School. Since 2011 Gigi has been a coxswain for both her high school with Coach Thomas Corcoran and Fairmount Rowing Association with Coach Molly Konopka. She received the most improved athlete award for her team as a freshman and sophomore while also participating in Agnes Irwin Squash. The daughter of John and Sarah Geary, Gigi is very involved in her school. As a member of the honor roll at Agnes Irwin Gigi earned the Media Arts Excellence Award in 2012, is the graphic designer for the Center for the Advancement of Girls, as well as a member of the prom committee, construction committee, and is on yearbook staff. Gigi will major in Digital Media Arts and Entrepreneurial Studies while at Duquesne.

Jessica Goldstein

Jessica Goldstein (5'6"/Wexford, PA/North Allegheny High School) is the daughter of Kathryn Brown and David Goldstein. She comes to Duquesne from North Allegheny High School right here in the Pittsburgh area. Under Coach Todd Ridenour, Jess earned a 4th place finish in the quad at the SRAA National Championships. As a member of the National Honor Society and the Future Business Leaders of America, Jess also volunteers for Three Rivers Rowing Association's Adaptive Rowing Program. She will major in Biology while at Duquesne.

Sydnie Pennington

Sydnie Pennington (5'9"/Egg Harbor Township, NJ/Egg Harbor Twp High School) attended and rowed for Holy Spirit High School for 2 years before transferring to Egg Harbor and Coach Dan Welsh. As a freshman at Holy Spirit, Sydnie won the Dr. Robert Frost Regatta, the Atlantic County Championships, the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, and the SRAA National Championship in the Freshman 8. As a sophomore she earned a seat in the 2V8 and went on to finish 2nd at the Garden State Championships and the Stotesbury Cup Regatta. With the shift to Egg Harbor in her junior year Sydnie stroked the V4 to 2nd place finishes at the Atlantic City Championships and the Garden State Championships while finishing 3rd at the Philadelphia City Championships. She is a member of National Honor Society and the president of the Interact Club. While at DU, Sydnie will major in Economics and Political Science.

Morgan Starczewski

Morgan Starczewski (5'11"/Syracuse, NY/Charles W Baker High School) has rowed for the Baldwinsville Crew Team under Coach Chris Ludden as well as the Syracuse Chargers under Coach Valerie Manzo. In the spring of 2012 as a novice with Baldwinsville Crew, Morgan sat is stroke seat of the novice 8 that won both the Section III Championships and the NY Championships. As 7 seat of the junior boat in the spring of 2013 she helped her boat finish 2nd in the senior division at the Section III Championships as well as 1st at the NY State Championships which earned her boat a bid to the SRAA Championship. This fall Morgan has been a staple in the Syracuse Chargers' varsity 4 racing at the Head of the Genessee, Row for a Cure, and the Head of the Charles. The daughter of David and Deborah Starczewski, Morgan is very involved in her school and community. She has been a member of the Junior Honor and National Honor Society for all four years of high school while also being a member of the CW Baker Key Club, Transition Team, and Jenna's mentors, as well as being the vice president of the Environmental Club. Morgan will join her sister Meredith, a sophomore rower, on the Bluff next year and is interested in studying Athletic Training.

Madeleine Troppe

Madeleine Troppe (6'0"/Selinsgrove, PA/Selinsgrove Area High School) joined the Central Pennsylvania Rowing Association upon its inception in 2010 as a summer program. She has sat in stroke seat of the women's double and quad. Madeleine has also been very involved in other sports throughout high school. As a goal keeper for her school's field hockey team she helped lead them to 3 PIAA District 4 Championships and was named the Most Improved Player two consecutive years. She also played basketball for 3 years and lacrosse in which she holds the team record for most draw-controls in a single game. While achieving Distinguished High Honor Roll every period Madeleine is also a member of the Spanish Club as secretary and president, the Outdoors Club treasurer, the Scholastic Scrimmage team captain, and a member of National Honor Society. Madeleine will enter the McAnulty College of Liberal Arts.




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