Hurricane Crews Advance to Finals of the 2004 Lexus Central/Southern Sprints

May 15, 2004

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami rowing team’s Novice Eight crew turned in a time of 7:30.20 in Saturday’s semifinals at the 2004 Lexus Central/Southern Sprints at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn., placing third to move on to Sunday’s Grand Finals.

The Hurricanes’ team of Meghan Leydecker (cox), Valerie Webb, Ashley Via, Natasha Lejer, Erin Morris, Laura Coltman, Noelle Van Ee, Molly Wilson and Marenda Chamberlin took second place in the opening heat with a time of 7:20.60 – the fourth best time overall in each of the three heats among 15 schools – to advance to the semifinal race.

UM’s mark of 7:30.20 in the semifinals was good for third place, advancing the Novice Eight crew into Sunday’s Grand Finals slated for 10:10 a.m.

The Hurricanes’ Varsity Eight crew lined up with some of the nation’s best teams in the opening heats. In a field of 23 schools featuring eight crews ranked in the USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association top-20 poll, Miami’s boat of Laura Comeau (cox), Karen Wiley, Jenny Krawec, Jacqui Julien, Sarah Conlon, Rachel Clausing, Caroline Stuart, Ananda Chou and Jordanna Heywood raced against 10th-ranked Wisconsin and 11th-ranked Michigan State to finish fourth in their respective heat with a time of 7:03.70 to move on to the “C” semifinals.

Miami dominated in the semifinals, cruising to a first place finish time of 7:08.30, nearly three full seconds ahead of second-place Kansas State. UM’s Varsity Eight Crew will take to the waters Sunday for the “C” Finals scheduled for 9:10 a.m.

Miami’s Junior Varsity Eight crew, who entered Saturday’s opening heats with only one loss this season, couldn’t overcome a strong Iowa team to place fifth with a time of 7:16.00, finishing 5.90 seconds behind the fourth-place Hawkeyes to fall into the “C” semifinals.

The Hurricane Junior Varsity Eight crew of Jessica Martin (cox), Rachel Sander, Bridget Gallagher, Anna Cohen, Julie Crane, Ashley Marincsin, Jaquelene Heywood, Aoife Forde and Deirdre Curran took third in the semifinals with a time of 7:31.50 to qualify for Sunday’s “C” Finals beginning at 9:50 a.m.

Sunday’s finals of the eighth annual Central/Southern Sprints are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. with the Junior Varsity Eight “D” final.