Nine newcomers added to Stanford women's rowing team


Stanford women's rowing coach Derek Byrnes announced the signing of nine standouts to a National Letter of Intent.

The Cardinal welcomes Sarah Commesso, Julia Cornacchia, Maria Kent, Kaitlin Kynast, Sophia Lynn, Grace McGinley, Sasha Moore, Sheridan Stephenson and Abby Tarquinio to The Farm as members of the 2016 signing class.


Sophia Lynn
"The Class of 2021 is an exceptional group of scholar-athletes whom we expect to fit flawlessly into our team fabric," said Byrnes. "Our program owes a huge debt of thanks to Kelsie Chaudoin for her tireless work in putting this class together. She has done an amazing job both pinpointing individuals that could complement our current team as well as articulating the unique experience of embracing the dual emphasis of the Stanford scholar-athlete."

Commesso has been a member of the Marin Rowing Association the past four years. After being honored with the club's Most Improved Oarswoman award in 2014, Commesso was the recipient of the Jana Barto Leadership Award this past spring.

She has stroked the varsity eight to a gold medal finish at the Southwest Junior Regional Championships and a top-10 finish at the Youth National Championships the past two years.

At the Head of the Charles this fall, Commesso led the varsity eight to a second-place finish.

A member of the 2016 USA Junior National Rowing Team, she stroked the United States women's eight that placed fifth in the 2016 World Rowing Junior Championships in the Netherlands this past August.

She attends St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, where she was also a standout water polo and soccer player.

Cornacchia has rowed the past four years for the Connecticut Boat Club. At the prestigious Head of the Charles, Cornacchia led the varsity eight to a 10th-place finish. She captured gold medals rowing in the four and double at the Head of the American in 2015, and led the varsity eight to a fifth-place finish at the San Diego Crew Classic last spring.

A silver medal finish in the eight and a gold medal in the pair at the Northeast Regional Championships led to an appearance in the Youth National Championships. There, she medalled twice, capturing gold in the pair and bronze in the eight.

She is a two-time member of the U.S. Junior National Team, guiding the U.S. eight to a fifth-place finish at the World Rowing Junior Championships this past August.

Cornacchia captured a bronze medal in the eight at the 2015 World Rowing Junior Championships in Rio de Janeiro. She attends Darien High School in Connecticut.

Kent, a native of Oak Park, Ill., has competed for the Chicago Rowing Foundation club program for three years. She has guided her boat to a top-two finish at the Midwest Regional Championship regatta for the last three years.

After capturing gold in the Novice A women's eight in 2014, Kent led the varsity eight to second-place finishes in 2015 and 2016. Kent's varsity eight placed fifth at the Youth Nationals last spring.

Kent attends Oak Park and River Forest High School, where she was a standout for the Huskies' basketball program for two seasons. She led the team in scoring and rebounding in her two years.

She decided not to play basketball her final two years of high school to focus on her rowing career. She follows in the footsteps of her mother (Marian) and father (Robert), who both attended graduate school at Stanford.

Kynast has rowed for the Connecticut Boat Club for the last three years, where she guided the pair to a gold medal and the varsity eight to a bronze at the Junior Nationals earlier this year.

Kynast is also a member of the U.S. Junior National Team, where she led the U.S. to a gold medal in the straight four in 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and won a bronze medal in the pair at the 2016 Junior World Rowing Championships.

Kynast placed fourth at the C.R.A.S.H.-B. Sprints in 2016. Before rowing, Kynast was a three-sport standout for the Ridgefield High School varsity basketball, lacrosse and volleyball teams during her freshman season.

Lynn rows at Marina Aquatic Center, where she has guided the varsity eight to an eighth-place finish in the Youth National Championships. Lynn also rowed in the straight four that won gold and the pair that won bronze at the 2016 Southwest Junior Regional Championships.

She is a member of the Junior National Team, rowing in the U.S. eight that placed fifth in the World Rowing Junior Championships this past August in the Netherlands.

Lynn attends New West Charter High School in Los Angeles, where she was a three-year captain for the nationally-ranked soccer team.

McGinley competes for Saugatuck Rowing Club, where she was voted USRowing's 2016 Fan's Choice Junior Rower of the Year. She has rowed in the varsity eight the club the last two years.

Saugatuck has won the gold medal in the varsity eight at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta the last two years. McGinley is undefeated in varsity eight races, and has helped the Saugatuck eight win gold at the San Diego Crew Classic and the National Championships in 2015 and 2016.

McGinley is also a member of the 2016 U.S. Junior National Team, competing in the World Rowing Junior Championships this past August.

McGinley attends Staples High School in Connecticut. Her mother, Debbie, was a four-time All-American as a member of the Stanford synchronized swimming program, and her grandfather, Richard Brear, played two seasons with the Stanford men's basketball team in 1962 and 1963.

A standout state champion volleyball player, Moore gave rowing a try as a way to stay in shape during the offseason. She hasn't looked back since.

In her first season of rowing, Moore worked her way to being a top performer, helping her team to a Florida State Championship. Moore attends Winter Park High School, where she is a four-year letterwinner and senior captain of the Wildcats' volleyball team.

Stephenson has rowed for Green Lake Crew the last three seasons. She competed in the varsity eight that placed 10th at the 2016 USRowing Youth National Championships.

Stephenson attends Shorecrest High School, where she is a three-time captain and two-time all-conference standout in both basketball and volleyball. The Scots captured their first Washington 2A state basketball title in school history last season.

Sheridan's parents are both Stanford alums, and her dad rowed for Stanford for four years.

Tarquinio has competed for Nashville Juniors Rowing for the past four seasons after learning to row at a Stanford Rowing Camp. She is a member of both the varsity eight and varsity four that captured gold at the 2016 Head of the Hooch Regatta.

Tarquinio also placed fifth in the pair at the Youth National Championships in 2016, and placed sixth out of 260 individuals at the 2016 C.R.A.S.H.-B Sprints. Tarquinio was a member of both the 2015 and 2016 US Junior National Team, capturing bronze in the eight in 2015, and bronze in the straight four in 2016.

Tarquinio attends St. Cecilia Academy in Nashville, Tennessee where she has been named Rower of the Year for the last three years, and set St. Cecilia's 2K erg record.

— Stanford Athletics

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Peek inside the fine-dining Selby's, opening in Redwood City this summer
By Elena Kadvany | 4 comments | 3,982 views

Homestead Faire at Hidden Villa 4/27
By Laura Stec | 6 comments | 1,176 views

Premarital and Couples: "You're Not Listening to Me!" may mean "I don't feel heard."
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,034 views

All those things our city does – and doesn’t -- do
By Diana Diamond | 6 comments | 988 views

Migraines and motherhood
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 586 views


Vote now!

It's time once again to cast your vote for the best places to eat, drink, shop and spend time in Palo Alto. Voting is open now through May 27. Watch for the results of our 2019 Best Of contest on Friday, July 19.