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Canisius rowing inks pair to letters of intent


The Canisius College rowing program added two more for the upcoming season Wednesday, as head coach Erin Neppel announced that Soleil Kouandjio, and Sierra Boucher will join the Blue and Gold at the start of the 2017-18 season.

Boucher comes to Canisius from Fairfax, Va. and is currently finishing up her final year at W.T. Wooson High School. The newcomer was a three-year letterwinner with her Woodson crew, earning Scholar Athletic accolades in 2016.

“Sierra has been one of my most diligent, conscientious prospects,” Neppel said. “She is thoughtful, deliberate, and just gets things done that she needs to do.  She gives you all that she has, and leads with her consistent, mature approach to both the training and her studies.”

With the Cavaliers, Boucher took third place and second place her freshman and sophomore years respectively at the VASRA State championships. Boucher also came in ninth at the junior nationals during her junior season.

“Sierra had a lot of awesome choices in colleges, and we are thrilled that she has chosen Canisius to continue her education and rowing career,” Neppel said.  “I expect a lot from her in the coming years!”

In the current season, the soon-to-be Griff, placed fifth during the Noxontown Regatta, at St. Andrews invitational.

Kouandjio comes to Canisius, relatively new to the sport but has shonw tremendous potential. The Silver Spring, Fla., native has been rowing for two years for the Stewards Foundation. She recently took first place in the second varsity four at the district regatta. Her top time in a 2,000-meter race so far is, 7:44.

“Soliel's high school coach spoke to me as to what a hard worker she is, and how she loves to be coached and to learn,” Neppel said. “Soleil immediately bonded with several members of the squad, and was already making friends on her official visit.  We knew she was a perfect fit”

Kouandjio also comes from athletic stock, with both of her brothers playing in the NFL. Her brouther Arie Kouandjio plays for the Redskins, while her other brother Cyrus was drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills.

“She is also going to bring a new level of power to our program, and I am certain she has come nowhere near to tapping all of her potential yet,” Neppel said. “She will absolutely thrive in the intense collegiate environment, both athletically and academically.”