Five rowers earn All-American honors

Two members of the men’s heavyweight crew team and three members of the men’s lightweight crew team have received All-American recognition. One member received Comeback Athlete of the Year honors.

six headshots of Penn crew athlete winners
Top (left to right): Troy Riesenberger, Simon Dubiel, and Matt Davis. Bottom (left to right): Ben Rutherford, Nathaniel Sass, and Sam Sullivan. (Images: Penn Athletics)

Rising third-year Sam Sullivan of the men’s heavyweight crew team has been named a Empacher-IRCA First-Team All-American by the Intercollegiate Rowing Coaches Association (IRCA) and rising third-year Matt Davis has received Empacher-IRCA Second-Team All-American accolades. To boot, rising fourth-year Ben Rutherford has been selected IRCA Comeback Athlete of the Year and Al Monte, the Nicholas B. Paumgarten Head Coach, was a finalist for the IRCA Division I Coach of the Year Award.

According to Monte, after suffering what could have been a season-ending injury, Rutherford “diligently worked through rehab and countless [revolutions per minute] on the ErgBike for eight weeks to earn his seat back in the Varsity 8 the week before the Sprints.”

In their first year under Monte, the men’s heavyweight crew team won the Clayton W. Chapman Trophy, awarded to the most improved crew team, at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships in early June. All three Eights earned top-12 finishes at IRAs, and the Varsity Eight earned its best placement since 2016.

Rising fourth-years Simon Dubiel and Nathaniel Sass of the men’s lightweight rowing team picked up Empacher-IRCA First-Team All-American honors and rising third-year Troy Riesenberger received Second-Team All-American recognition.

Led by Colin Farrell, the Fred W. Leonard Head Coach, the Varsity Eight lightweight crew team earned the bronze medal at the IRA National Championships, the fourth time in the last six Championships that the boat had a top-3 finish.

Nominated student-athletes are selected to the First-Team or Second-Team by the IRCA Board of Directors based on strength of finish of the institution’s varsity boat, nomination rank within the institution, and coach’s comments, individual achievements, and erg score.

Rowing is the oldest intercollegiate sport in the U.S.