Rowing: Hughes, an Orient native, returns to Herons nest

Libby Hughes, who is originally from Orient, has returned to her alma mater, William Smith College in Geneva, N.Y., to serve as the interim assistant coach for the Heron rowing team, head coach Sandra Chu recently announced. The former Heron rower has spent six months as a rowing coach at Radnor (Pa.) High School.

“Having Libby return to our staff is a huge win for us,” Chu said. “She’s helped define the culture of our team over the past four years and will be able to teach our novice class how to be great Herons as well as continue to influence our varsity program. I’m privileged and very excited to be able to continue to work with her and to see her evolve her already strong skills into her new role.”

At William Smith, Hughes competed in the varsity eight in each of her four seasons on campus. She competed in four straight NCAA Championships, finishing third in the varsity eight as a junior. Also in 2013, Hughes and her crew mates earned a bronze medal at the ECAC National Invitational Rowing Championships. She earned three consecutive gold medals at both the New York State Championships and the Liberty League Championships, helping the 2V in 2012 before moving up to the 1V in 2013 and 2014.

Following both her junior and senior seasons, Hughes and the rest of the Heron varsity eight were voted the Liberty League Crew of the Year. She was also the recipient of the 2014 Marion Harrison Greene ’20 Award, which is presented to a William Smith senior student-athlete whose accomplishments made a significant impact on her team and Heron athletics. Hughes was a part of 19 Liberty League Boat of the Week award-winning crews.

As a member of the Vesper Boat Club lightweight 4x, Hughes finished second at the U.S. Trials for the 2014 Under-23 World Championships. A year earlier, she finished third in the lightweight single scull at the U.S. Trials for the Under-23 World Championships.

In addition to her success at the Under-23 U.S. Trials, Hughes captured six gold medals with the Vesper Boat Club in 2014, earning two at the Canadian Henley, two in the Independence Day Regatta, one at Club Nationals, and one at the Head of the Schuylkill.