Novice 8 Finishes First on Final Day of Action at FIRA State Rowing Championships
April 8, 2006
CORAL GABLES, <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Fla. – The University of Miami rowing team’s Novice 8 came in first and the Varsity 8 and Junior Varsity 8 came in second on the final day of competition at the Florida Intercollegiate Rowing Association (FIRA) State Championships Saturday afternoon at the Krome Avenue Quarry. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
The Hurricanes once again battled difficult conditions that included strong head winds, choppy water and, on occasion, water crashing into the boats. With conditions the most difficult at the starting line of the 2,000 meter course, many of the races had to have a floating start while the double races were shortened to 1,000 meters.
Miami opened the day of competition by finishing second in the Varsity 8 to in-state rival Central Florida. UM’s boat of Laura Comeau (Cox), Sarah Conlon, Emy Huntsman, Natasha Lejer, Laura Coltman, Laura Cordner, Rachel Clausing, Bethany Krawec and Kelly Amsler kept contact with the UCF boat for the first 1,500 meters but could not over take the Golden Knights who pulled away in the final 500 meters to claim the win. Miami finished ahead of Nova Southeastern, Florida Tech, Jacksonville and Barry with a time of 7:51.9.
“I think we had a strong race but our performance was not as clean as yesterday,” said head coach Debra Morgan. “We didn’t handle the conditions well today. UCF is a very strong crew. We didn’t step up to their challenge the way I think we could have.”
“We didn’t know what to expect from them,” said sophomore Bethany Krawec. “We went in really confident. It was a good race given the conditions.”
Though the Hurricanes could not walk away with a win, senior coxswain Laura Comeau found positives in the loss, “We’re a little disappointed. Obviously you are going to be disappointed any time you don’t come out on top but I think we could be a lot faster.”
“We know out points of strength and our points of weakness so we’re going to spend the next week just making our weaknesses our strengths,” Comeau continued. “I’m excited to see UCF again and also excited by who they have beaten. We know that we’re close and can be competitive with them.”
The Junior Varsity 8 likewise struggled with the day’s tough conditions. After a battling a bad start, the boat of Jessica Martin (Cox), Molly Wilson, Jaquelene Heywood, Marleena Eyre, Sarah Stocks, Rachel Sporko, Sarah Greyer, Valerie Webb and Meghan White came in second behind UCF in a time of 8:46.9.
“I know the conditions just got the best of them,” Morgan said. “UCF obviously handled the tough conditions but we struggled with them.”
Despite the finish, Morgan is confident in her JV 8 crew, “I feel like our JV 8 is a very strong crew. They didn’t come together today but they will.”
Though the conditions did not benefit the lighter crews, Miami’s Double of Charlotte Hillery and Taurii Coyne managed to claim a win in the shortened 1,000 meter course. The Hurricanes came in first ahead of UCF in a time of 4:49.8.
Miami’s novice/freshman 8 comprised of four recruits and four walk-ons also claimed a victory, coming ahead of four other boats with a time of 8:29.0. The boat of Marcy Gunning (Cox), Kelly Amsler, Marleena Eyre, Rachel Sporko, Laura Cordner, Megan Hudson, Justine Lewis, Olivia Arkell and Anika Arevallo took an open water lead over second place finisher UCF and also defeated crews from Rollins, Jacksonville and Florida.
“I think it was a chance to put our most talented freshman together and while this might be the only time we do it, it shows what a solid class they are as a whole,” said novice coach Andrea Saathoff. “We put together a race after never practicing before. I thought they had a great time out there. They just had fun and went after it.”
In the final race of the regatta, Miami’s Varsity 4 crew of Meghan Leydecker (Cox), Taurii Coyne, Julianne Parker, Mackenzie Dove and Marenda Chamberlin finished third behind Florida Tech and Barry in a time of 9:41.4. The Hurricanes beat out crews from Jacksonville, Nova Southeastern and UCF.
The Hurricanes return to action Saturday, April 15 for the Southern Intercollegiate Regatta. The two-day event will be held in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
FIRA State Championships – Day Two Results
April 8, 2006
Krome Avenue Quarry; Miami, Fla.
1. UCF 7:46.6
2. Miami 7:51.9
4. Florida Tech 8:17.2
5. Jacksonville 8:19.5
6. Barry 8:36.6
Junior Varsity 8
1. UCF 8:27.5
2. Miami 8:46.9
1. Miami 4:49.8
(Charlotte Hillery, Taurii Coyne)
2. Florida Tech 5:48.2
1. Miami 8:29.0
2. UCF 8:39.3
3. Rollins 9:25.2
4. Florida 10:39.7
5. Jacksonville 10:52.4
1. Florida Tech 9:16.0
2. Barry 9:22.7
3. Miami 9:41.4
4. Jacksonville 9:46.6
5. NSU 9:50.8
6. UCF 10:04.0