Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

For the fourth consecutive year, Cooper Wessells ’88 traveled to the FISA World Rowing Championships in August as part of the U.S. rowing team. His four-man crew made the field by covering 2,000 meters (1.2 miles) in just under five minutes, 53 seconds at the July trials in Princeton, N.J. “You start with a sprint and settle into a long power stroke. In the last minutes, the body is at its limit, and you make a final sprint to the line,” says Wessells, who competed in men’s lightweight quadruple sculls at the August championships in Lucerne, Switzerland.

His love of rowing drives Wessells to spend much of the year shuttling between his job as director of warehouse operations at Books on Tape in Newport Beach, Calif., and his training at Undine Boat Club in Philadelphia, where fellow rower Noah Hawk ’99 also trains. The telecommuting arrangement is made possible by a sympathetic boss who is a former Olympic gold medalist in rowing and inexpensive plane fares gleaned from the Internet. “It’s worth it,” says Wessells. “I enjoy the competition and the chance to try to go as fast as possible.”

Wessells won a bronze medal in his first visit to the world championships in 1998, and at the 1999 Pan Am Games. He began rowing as a first-year student at Lafayette, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. “It was a great experience,” he recalls. “All of my best friends from Lafayette were on the crew team with me.

It was a bunch of guys who liked to work hard and train together, and also liked to have fun. It was the best of both worlds for me.” Cheering Wessells on at the trials were Eduardo Aguayo ’86, Felix Aguayo ’86, Tim Demasi ’88, Paige MacFarlan ’90, and Jonathon Kopcsil ’92.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles