by Alexander Santana
Varsity golf and rowing for men and women will commence during the 2018-2019 season, according to The Catholic University of America Athletics Department. Information released from the Office of Marketing and Communications on Monday stated that “the four new programs will operate under club-sport status in 2017-2018 before transitioning to full varsity standing for the 2018-2019 school year. Rowing is already an established club program at Catholic University while golf was previously a varsity and club sport in the late 1980s.”
“We are thrilled to be able to offer these four sports at the varsity athletics level,” said Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Sean Sullivan. “Catholic University prides itself on providing a wide array of quality co-curricular activities and this move reinforces our commitment to strengthening and diversifying the student experience.” The Landmark Conference sponsoring golf in Fall 2017 will coincide with the creation of varsity golf teams for male and female student-athletes. The Landmark Conference in 2017-2018 will also have an NCAA automatic qualifier for men’s golf. The Landmark Champion will advance to the national tournament each season while the women are expected to gain its automatic qualifier in the 2018-2019 season.
Julia Rossetto, a freshman psychology major and member of the Rowing club team, was glad to hear the news. “I am very excited that we will be a varsity team at CUA. I think it will be a great opportunity for the program to grow.”
The league will now offer championships for 12 women’s programs and 10 for men. Catholic University will compete in 22 Landmark sports with football joining the New England Women’s & Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) beginning this July. Women’s rowing is currently an NCAA Division III sponsored championship sport while men’s rowing will compete toward regional championships. The Athletics Department is currently investigating conference affiliations for rowing as there are a number of opportunities available in the Mid-Atlantic Region and throughout the Eastern Seaboard. The Landmark does not currently sponsor rowing.
The Rowing Club’s coach, Sally O’Conner, had much to say about the announcement. “This is an incredible opportunity for both CUA and the students who are currently participating in the club rowing program. I have been coaching for 25 years, and the men and women who are currently on the roster are some of the best people I have had the honor to work with. Catholic University should be proud that they have students of this caliber representing both the university and the tenants of the Catholic faith.”