Stockton University women’s rowing team was accepted Friday to compete in the varsity eight division at the 55th annual Head of the Charles Regatta.

The Head of Charles will take place Oct. 19-20 on the banks of the Charles River in Boston. The regatta, established in 1965 and considered the world’s largest two-day rowing event, will feature more than 11,000 rowers.

Stockton, which established its rowing program in the 1970s, has recently taken many steps to enhance its women’s team into an NCAA Division III national power, including hiring coach John Bancheri last year.

Bancheri has coached rowing at the collegiate level for 35 years, leading the Grand Valley State University women’s team to six consecutive American Collegiate Rowing Association (ACRA) team titles from 2008-2013.

Last season, the Ospreys had their best campaign in program history. The team earned its first-ever varsity eight medal at the Dad Vail Regatta with a third-place finish.

The Ospreys also finished third at the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference Championships, which was the best finish in program history.

Bancheri also oversees the men’s club team at Stockton

“The Head of the Charles is a great opportunity for our athletes to participate in a fantastic event,” he said. “They will compete with the best teams in the country, which will show our developing team the speed that is required to compete at a national level.”

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