Miami takes two out of three from Iowa on first day of Longhorn Invitational
March 17, 2006
<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>AUSTIN, Texas – The University of Miami Rowing squad opened up the season by winning two of its four races and posting the second fastest overall time of the day in the Varsity 8 on the first day of action at the Longhorn Invitational held on TownLake in Austin, Texas Friday evening.
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UM’s Varsity 8, Second Varsity 8 and Novice 8 all raced Iowa and the Varsity 4 raced host Texas.
“We performed phenomenally for the first day of our racing season,” said head coach Debra Morgan. “I’m proud of all the crews and am looking forward to a fast season.”
Miami’s Novice 8 opened racing for the Hurricanes by winning in spectacular fashion with a time of 7:12.95 and with over a boat length of open water on Iowa’s Novice 8. The boat consisted of Marcy Gunning (Coxswain), Meghan Hudson, Anika Arevalo, Olivia Charbonneau, Justine Lewis, Rachael Sporko, Grayce Palmer, Jessica Cruz, and Dianna Francisco in the one seat. The win marked the first time Miami has defeated a boat from Iowa.
Charbonneau, a freshman, was excited about the win, “The team was really together, we improved a lot from last weekend’s scrimmage vs. Connecticut.”
Miami’s team seemed very confident going into the race even though this was the first true racing experience for all of the girls in the boat.
“We thought we’d do well but I was surprised at how well we did,” continued Charbonneau. “I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend and improving, continuing to learn and progress during the season.”
The Second Varsity 8 followed the Novice with another Miami victory by posting a time of 6:51.70 to win by a boat length. The boat of Jessica Martin (Coxswain), Molly Wilson, Natasha Lejer, Marleena Eyre, Sarah Greyer, Mackenzie Dove, Jaquelene Heywood, Valerie Webb, and Meghan White led most of the race by two or three seats before pulling away for good around the 1200 meter mark.
Senior Mackenzie Dove saw her first action since Atlantic Coast Conference competition last season. Dove has battled injury, including two shoulder surgeries, throughout her rowing career at Miami and was excited to race this weekend.
“This gives us a fantastic baseline to improve on and as a crew we know that there is a lot of potential for success,” Dove said. “We came in pretty confident and it was very exciting to see how well we performed.”
In the Varsity 8, Miami’s boat of Laura Comeau (Coxswain), Sarah Conlon, Emy Huntsman, Laura Cordner, Laura Coltman, Sarah Stocks, Rachel Clausing, Bethany Krawec, and Kelly Amsler got off to a slow start giving Iowa an early four-seat lead. But the Hurricanes battled back using a powerful shift that brought them to within one seat. Iowa’s eight, however, was equal to the task and the two teams battled neck and neck down the majority of the course. Miami started its sprint early and put a scare into Iowa but Hawkeyes were able to hold Miami’s rush edging them at the line by about one stroke. Miami was impressive, though, posting a time of 6:28.68–the second fastest time of the day, only behind Iowa’s time of 6:27.45.
Sophomore Emy Huntsman was pleased with the race, “Although we didn’t win, it was a great foundation for races to come.” The team seemed really relaxed and not too concerned with the loss. “The race went really well and it was fun,” Huntsman said.
The varsity four battled darkness in the headlining event against host Texas. The crew of Meghan Leydecker (Coxswain), Taurii Coyne, Julianne Parker, Charlotte Hillery and Marenda Chamberlin was unable to hold off the powerful Longhorn boat.
“Texas is a deep team and we expected a tough race. We were able to hold them off for the first half of the race,” said Leydecker, a junior. The experience was definitely a learning one according to Leydecker, “We have things that we can work on and this is just money in the bank, we can take it and use it later.”
The Hurricanes return to the course tomorrow where the Eights will race KansasState in the morning and Texas in the afternoon, the Four will race Texas in the morning and Wisconsin in the afternoon.
Longhorn Invitational – Day One Results
March 17, 2006
Town Lake; Austin, Texas
Miami vs. Iowa
First Novice Eights
1. MIAMI 7:12.95
Second Varsity Eights
1. MIAMI 6:51.70
First Varsity Eights
1. Iowa 6:27.45
First Varsity Fours
1. Texas 7:22.43
2. MIAMI 7:32.17