Haley Crispell, a three-sport athlete for four years at Oakcrest High School, calls girls crew her main focus.
Crispell will attend Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, in the fall and will row for the NCAA Division I Monarchs. The 18-year-old Mays Landing resident will receive a partial scholarship that’s both academic and athletic. She has signed a national letter of intent.
Crispell also played field hockey and swam for the Falcons. She will leave Oakcrest with 10 varsity letters.
“During my freshman and sophomore years, I was on the (Egg Harbor Township) Seahawks (swim club), and I thought I might go to college for swimming,” said Crispell.
“But I was on the crew team as a freshman and fell in love with the sport. Even during other sports, I’ve always thought about crew and wanted to make my erg (ergometer) time better. The other sports helped me to stay in shape for crew.”
Crispell also visited Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Drexel University in Philadelphia.
The ODU women’s crew team is coached by Dan Garbutt, a former Atlantic City High School rower. The Monarchs finished sixth in the Big 12 Championships last spring.
“I visited Old Dominion last year to see two friends of mine on the women’s crew team, Taylor Phy and Tori Thiess,” Crispell said “I rowed with them at Oakcrest. I went to Old Dominion again in October and fell in love with everything there. A lot of the girls were from (Atlantic County), and they were very welcoming. I also liked the fact that the school is not too close to home and not too far away.”
Crispell rowed on the girls freshman eight in her first year at Oakcrest and has been a member of the varsity eight for the past three years. First-year head coach Abbey Schiavo put Crispell in the stroke seat this spring. Oakcrest is ranked No. 8 in The Press Elite 11 this week.
“Haley is definitely a leader, and she’s always encouraging her teammates,” Schiavo said. “She’s a great athlete and very determined. It’s easy to follow her, so she’s perfect for the stroke seat. She’s very excited about going to Old Dominion.”
The girls varsity eight was third in flight 3 in 5 minutes, 38.75 seconds Sunday at the final Manny Flick-Horvat Series regatta in Philadelphia.
Crispell scored eight goals for the Oakcrest field hockey team last fall. The Falcons were 10-8 in a season that ended with a 1-0 overtime loss to Pinelands Regional in a South Jersey Group II quarterfinal.
She was a key scorer for the girls swim team this winter as the Falcons went 8-3 and won their third straight Cape-Atlantic League National Conference title. Oakcrest lost to Haddonfield 113-56 in the S.J. Group C championship meet. Crispell was a second-team Press All-Star.
She’ll major in mathematics at ODU.