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Rower Swept Onto a New Stage

Marianne Hoeft wasn't sure how she would do on the United States Junior rowing team at last month's world championships. She had made her mark as a sculler, handling one oar. This time she was being asked to sweep, with two oars.

But Hoeft made the transition flawlessly, and has the medal to prove it. She picked up a silver medal with the women's eight at the junior championships in Racice, Czech Republic. Among her teammates was Southport's Rosemary Grinalds. Great Britain beat the U.S. to the finish line by just over three seconds.

"I wouldn't say we were surprised at our finish," Marianne said. "It was clear that we had potential. Britain's boat was the only one that they sent, so they were concentrating on that."

Hoeft's medal capped a busy summer for the June graduate of New Canaan High School. Rowing out of the Maritime Rowing Club in Norwalk, Marianne helped the NC crew win a bronze medal in the women's quad at the U.S. championships in June. Competing with Stephanie Winsch, Mackenzie Bass and Jennifer DeCata, New Canaan finished third and was just four seconds out of first.

Hoeft headed to the trials for the U.S. Junior team after the national meet. "I wasn't sure what was going to happen," Marianne said. "I was going to sweep in college, so I figured I would try it. There was a lot of competition and there were girls that had swept for their whole career."

After training and competing with the U.S. team, Marianne had little down time before heading off to Georgetown to begin her freshman year. She chose the school because of its international relations program and rowing, where the Hoyas are an up-and-coming program. "It's a growing team," Marianne says. "I liked that. I focused on which academic program I'd be happiest at."

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