Rowers Open Spring Season at Metro Cup Regatta in Florida
March 3, 2012
On Friday, February 24th, the Duquesne Rowing team headed south for a week of training in sunny Orlando, FL. In temperatures that reached the upper 80's and a week of sun the team used its water time wisely to adjust and transfer their work on the erg over the winter to the boat and oar.
The week culminated with the Metro Cup on Saturday, March 3rd in which Duquesne went up against rowers from Rollins College and the University of Central Florida (UCF). In what proved to be the roughest water the team had seen all week the fours had trouble dealing with the 15-20 mph crosswinds down the race course.
The first event of the morning was the women's novice four of stroke Megan Boley, Lindsay Wyllie, Alyssa McKernan, Katherin Eastwood, and cox Erin Browne. In their first sprint race since walking on to the team in the fall the women battled hard with the conditions that ultimately got the best of them. They finished third to second place UCF with Rollins crossing the line first.
The next event was the women's second novice four with Duquesne racing UCF. The line-up of stroke Marissa Gero, Rebecca Dieterich, Victoria Snyder, Megan Hufnagel and cox Kristy Pietrone maintained their length in the wind, but it still proved to be too much for them and they finished second to UCF.
The women's varsity four of stroke Alex Watts, Marissa Conlin, Jennifer Houser, Kamryn Thorpe, and cox Megan Parmarter also struggled with the wind finishing third behind the varsity fours from UCF and Rollins.
Duquesne fielded two boats in the women's varsity eight event and also went up against boats from UCF and Rollins. In a very exciting battle for first place, the varsity eight of cox Kristy Pietrone, stroke Derin Ongun, Maria De Iuliis, Rachael Thornton, Elizabeth Brennan, Hannah Olinger, Laura Dunlap, Rachael Ross, and bow Gretchen Swabe finished less than .5 seconds ahead of the second varsity eight of cox Michelle Karkos, stroke Samantha Newhart, Courtney Purslow, Hannah Mazur, Emily Gorham, Elizabeth Rhodes, Julia Borsari, Lauren Turner, and Regina Dutz. The third place boat from UCF finished over 20 seconds back and fourth place Rollins was a minute behind the first place Duquesne eight.
This was a great beginning to our season and as the weather begins to improve here in Pittsburgh we are looking to continue our progress. The Dukes will compete again on Saturday, March 24th in Marietta, Ohio against Marietta College, North Park University, and conference foe University of Dayton. Below are some words from two seniors regarding our recent spring training trip.
Overall it was a successful week in terms of getting out on the water in conditions that were pretty close to being ideal. The girls worked hard both novices and varsity in making the transition from the erging of winter training back to being on the water. It was nice spending time getting to know the novice and enjoy some team bonding activities. Both the V8 and 2nd V8 enjoyed working on pair racing and getting adjusted to new lineups. Both boats raced in some windy conditions saturday to bring in the start of the season on a high note with taking 1st and 2nd place at metro cup separated by only a few seconds. Despite conditions, the times posted were also much better than the prior year which we hope to continue to improve upon in the weeks to follow leading up into the A-10 championship. As a senior class we are excited about this final season and the work that the girls have put in this winter that showed during this first week of spring training and at Metro Cup. We look forward to continuing to make progress and speed gains as a team and are excited to be racing Dayton and Marietta at the scrimmage in two weeks!
-Rachael Thornton, Senior Captain
Last week the Dukes spent time in Florida taking our first strokes on the water and opened our season with the Metro Cup Regatta. The first week of practice was encouraging as our first/second eights showed marked improvement over last year's team. The crews this year are young and it was apparent during the week as well as racing on Saturday that there was hard work put in during winter training to gain the endurance and speed we need to advance into the next level of collegiate racing. During the race, the first and second eights jumped out in front of Rollins and UCF and never looked back and the first eight pulled out in front to take the gold. This "go get 'em" attitude is exactly what we need this year to be successful. The raw talent and budding potential from both the varsity and novice crews coupled with the hard work ethic that has been established is exactly what will allow this team to gain the speed and confidence needed to capture an Atlantic 10 Championship at the end of the spring racing season. I certainly look forward to working with my teammates and coaches as we head back to the Allegheny to prepare for the next race against the defending A10 champions, the Dayton Flyers.
-Beth Brennan, Senior