Two members of the William Smith College rowing team were named 2008 College Rowing Coaches Association Scholar-Athletes. Sophomores Kirsten Cooper (Atholton/Columbia, Md.) and Abbie DiPalma (Portsmouth Abbey School/Middleton, R.I.) were honored for their academic and athletic accomplishments. A member of the 2008 Liberty League All-Academic Team, Cooper was an oarswoman in the Heron second varsity eight that finished third in the third level final at the NCAA Championship. She and her boatmates captured the bronze medal at the 2008 New York State Championships and finished second in the Liberty League Championships. Cooper helped William Smith earn the Liberty League Boat of the Week award as a member of the varsity eight after winning the HWS Challenge on the Canal during the fall season. Cooper is majoring in Asian languages and cultures. “Kirsten’s natural curiosity about how to improve, the sport in general, as well as a keen compassion for her teammates, has led her to great success,” says Sandra Chu, head rowing coach. “I’ve been impressed with Kirsten’s commitment to her academic programs which, in turn, enhances her commitment to rowing. A true scholar-athlete, she has learned the fine art of balance and excels on both sides.” Also a member of the 2008 Liberty League All-Academic Team, DiPalma was the coxswain for the Heron varsity eight that finished fourth in the petite final at the NCAA Championship. She and her boatmates finished second in the Liberty League Championship. DiPalma guided the Herons to the Boat of the Week award following a dominating April weekend that saw William Smith top Middlebury and Skidmore on Saturday and RIT, Tufts, and WPI. She was one of only 24 athletes invited to the 2007 USRowing Women’s national Team Freshman Camp. DiPalma is majoring in mathematics. “Clearly, Abbie’s success in the classroom serves her well on the water,” says Chu. “The increased demands our program makes of coxswains in terms of extra workouts, as well as extensive homework such as race transcriptions and reviews, coxswain development meetings, and racing prep also put extra pressure on Abbie’s time management skills. Her excellence in the classroom is a testament to her intelligence.” William Smith finished seventh as a team in the NCAA Championship and second in the Liberty League Championship. Over the past six seasons, the Herons have earned 11 CRCA Scholar-Athlete awards. To be named a CRCA Scholar-Athlete, student-athletes must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5, must have completed one academic year, and must compete in a varsity boat in at least 75 percent of the spring’s races.