Sts. Peter and Paul Senior Signs National Letter of Intent for Rowing

Emlyn Mackenzie, a senior at Sts. Peter and Paul High School and the captain of the Easton-based Freedom Rowers, has signed her National Letter of Intent to row for the Florida Institute of Technology beginning with the fall 2010 semester.

This signing marks the first Freedom Rowers’ team member to be awarded a sports scholarship and the first student ever on the mid-shore to be awarded a scholarship for rowing.

The Florida Institute of Technology, also known as “Florida Tech” is based in Melbourne and is one of the top technical institutions in the country. Rowing is one of nine core sports that the Florida Tech Panthers compete in as a Division II school. Mackenzie will join the very competitive team in late summer to begin training. She remarks, “I’ve been rowing with Freedom Rowers since I was in seventh grade and knew I wanted to continue the sport at the intercollegiate level. I had been looking at a few schools and was thrilled when Florida Tech approached me to row for them as not only do they have a great team but I want to study to become a marine biologist and I really respect their College of Science.”

Diana Lobien, head coach and founder of Freedom Rowers remarks, “To have a rower be awarded a scholarship only six years after establishing the team is a testament to both Emlyn’s and the organization’s hard work and perseverance. Our team is growing rapidly and we produce quality rowers. Once the word gets out that universities and colleges pay attention to our team, I expect to see more sports-minded students sign up with us this year.”

Freedom Rowers supports a strong sense of academics and has six graduating seniors on the team. All will go on to college in the fall, half of which have plans to row as their respective universities.

About Freedom Rowers
Freedom Rowers ( is an Easton-based youth rowing team for sixth through twelfth graders that was established in 2004. Currently, the team has 36 members from seven Talbot and Queen Anne’s Counties schools and is led by head coach, founder and veteran rower Diana Lobien. Indoor training takes place each winter at the YMCA of Talbot County with spring training being on the water with launches out of Evergreen Cove Holistic Learning Center in Easton. Freedom Rowers welcomes rowers from Talbot and surrounding counties. A strong competitive team, Lobien instills a sense of teamwork, pride, challenge, academics, success and community support and partnerships in all the rowers. To learn more about Freedom Rowers or Emlyn Mackenzie contact Mary Ann Henker of The Henker Group, at 410.253.7023 or