The Holy Spirit High School girls crew team has finished No. 1 in The Press Elite 11 for several years in a row, and that always shows itself on college signing day.
Five Spartans seniors — Megan Biondi, Natalie Weeks, Delaney Dooley, Rachel Fabel and Hayley McKeever — signed national letters of intent this month in the school library and will be on NCAA Division I crew teams next year.
Dooley and coxswain Weeks will attend Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. McKeever will row for Drexel, Fabel for Rhode Island and Biondi for Rutgers.
“It’s always good, and we have a handful sign each year,” Holy Spirit girls crew coach Joe Welsh said. “There’s a lot of pressure on them with college coaches, and I’m thrilled for the kids to be signing. Now they can relax and keep up their grades and enjoy their senior year. In the fall, I get to see (the former Spartans) row at a high level (in the fall college season), and I’m really happy for them.”
McKeever, a 17-year-old Linwood resident, will receive a partial athletic and academic scholarship to Drexel in Philadelphia. At Holy Spirit, McKeever didn’t row as a freshman but was in the junior eight as a sophomore and the varsity eight this past spring. She also visited Louisville, Rhode Island and Bucknell.
“I’m really grateful that I’ll get to go to an awesome school,” McKeever said. “I really loved the program. I liked that it’s not far from home. It’s right on Boathouse Row (where high school teams sometimes compete). The city is an awesome place to be.”
The Drexel women’s team won its first Dad Vail Regatta points title in the spring and finished second in the Colonial Athletic Association Championships.
Fabel, an 18-year-old Brigantine resident, will receive a partial athletic scholarship to Rhode Island in Kingston. For the Spartans, Fabel was in the freshman eight in 2015, the junior eight in 2016 and the varsity eight as a junior. She also visited Jacksonville.