Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Spotlight

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Spotlight

Article excerpt

Sarah Brennen, a junior at Villa Duchesne School, is in the spotlight because of her prowess in rowing.

This past August, Sarah served as the coxswain of the U.S. junior women's eight crew that competed at the World Rowing Championships at Strathclyde, Scotland. She was the first St. Louis rower in the past four decades to wear the U.S. team colors.

After practicing for six weeks together, the team chose Sarah to be its standard bearer at the opening ceremony. "It was a great honor," said Sarah. "Since I was the youngest member of the junior national team, they picked me because they thought I stand for youth in rowing." Carrying the red-white-and-blue U.S. oar, Sarah joined a parade of representatives from 50 other countries. The U.S. team finished fourth, its strongest finish in recent years. The U.S. Olympic coach was there to watch the team race. Sarah has high hopes for making the Olympics in Sydney in 2000. Meanwhile, she will keep training with her coaches from the St. Louis Rowing Club and challenge her skills in regattas across the country. This month she will compete in Boston and Philadelphia. As Sarah enters her fourth year of rowing, she is trying to recruit people to give crew a try. "I like telling people about the sport," she said. "Not many people have heard of it, and I really enjoy that about it." When she is not rowing, Sarah spends time with Villa Duchesne's photography club and yearbook staff. She has a 3.4 grade-point average and has made the honor roll. She also volunteers twice a month at Litzsinger School, where she helps disabled students. Sarah, 17, lives in Clayton with her parents, Lady Alice and David Michael Brennen. She has nine brothers and sisters: David, 26, attends the University of Arkansas; J.P., 25, of U. City; Will, 23, of Clayton; Patrick, 22, attends St. Louis Community College at Forest Park; Maggie, 19, attends William and Mary College; Mary, 14, and Alice, 13, attend Villa Duchesne; and Caitlin, 9, and Michael, 6, attend Meramec Elementary in Clayton. Here is what Sarah says: After high school I plan to: go to college, row, try out for the Olympic team and become a marine biologist. …

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