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Girls From Westport Sign Letters Of Intent To Row At Virginia

Wilton’s Margaret Manley, a student at Greenwich Academy, will row for the University of Virginia.
Wilton’s Margaret Manley, a student at Greenwich Academy, will row for the University of Virginia. Photo Credit: Contributed
Westport’s Lexi Bralver, a student at Greens Farms Academy, will also attend Virginia.
Westport’s Lexi Bralver, a student at Greens Farms Academy, will also attend Virginia. Photo Credit: Contributed
Alex Slabbert of Greenwich High School signed a letter of intent to row at the University of Virginia.
Alex Slabbert of Greenwich High School signed a letter of intent to row at the University of Virginia. Photo Credit: Contributed

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Rowers from Wilton, Westport and Greenwich were named Wednesday as part of the 2015 recruiting class for the powerful women’s team at the University of Virginia.

Westport’s Lexi Bralver, a student at Greens Farms Academy who rows at Saugatuck Rowing Club, and Wilton’s Margaret Manley, who attends Greenwich Academy and also competes for Saugatuck, are part of the class of 11 girls headed to the school in Charlottesvile, Va. Both girls are coached by Chase Graham.

Alex Slabbert of Greenwich High School will also compete for Virginia.

Bravler, a 5-foot, 1-inch coxswain, helped Saugatuck win the 8+ at the Head of the Charles in the fall. She also coxed the junior A 4+ to victory at the USRowing Club Nationals.

“When I came and visited the school and got a chance to spend time with the rowers and coaches, I could tell how hard everyone worked and how much everyone loved being on the team,” Bralver said. “After seeing what a competitive yet close-knit team it was, I just realized, ‘Wow, I really want to be a part of that.’”

Manley was also part of the Saugatuck team that won the Head of the Charles. She rowed with the Junior 8+ team that took second at the Club Nationals and was fifth with Saugatuck’s Women’s Junior 4+ at the USRowing Youth Nationals in June.

“I chose UVa because of its ideal combination of being academically rigorous and also having an incredible crew team,” Manley said. “All of the rowers are so motivated to push themselves and the team as a whole, which really shows in the results they produce on the water. I’m so excited to become a part of such an awesome and close-knit team.”

Slabbert was selected to Great Britain’s 2014 World Junior Championship squad and was second in the women’s junior 2- at 2014 USRowing Youth Nationals. She was fourth in the women’s youth single at 2014 Head of the Charles and is coached by Marko Serafimovski at RowAmerica Rye.

“I chose UVa because I love everything about it,” Slabbert said. “I don't think there is a team with a better atmosphere and vibe than the UVa team. The coaches are great and the school itself is amazing. I am excited to be a part of the Virginia tradition and culture.”

“This is a very talented, driven and diverse class,” Virginia coach Kevin Sauer said. “All of us are excited to welcome them to UVa."

Women from Westport, Wilton, Darien and Weston are already members of Virginia, which finished fifth at each of the last two NCAA championships.

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