Freshman 4 Earns Bronze at 76th Annual Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta
May 14, 2014
On Friday, May 9th and Saturday, May 10th the Duquesne Women's rowing team was in Philadelphia, PA for the prestigious Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta. The team had four entries in the event of over 110 teams and almost 500 entries.
The women's varsity four of Maureen O'Brien, Rachel Swain, Kaitlyn Clem, Nicole Wozniak, and Grace Hindes was the first boat to kick off racing for the Dukes on Friday morning. The event was one of the largest of the day with 35 entries. In what was a very fast heat Duquesne finished fifth behind the fours from Nova Southeastern, Robert Morris, Bucknell, and Fordham. Only the top two boats from each heat advanced on to the semi-final races.
Later Friday morning the freshman four of Mary Kate Keenoy, Emily Ames, Alison Kane, Kaitlyn McConville, and Caroline Connors raced a strong heat finishing first ahead of George Mason, Virginia Commonwealth, and Army to advance to the semi final races on Saturday morning. They posted the 4th fastest time out of the 42 entries in the event. In their semi-final race early Saturday morning the boat crossed the line second behind UMass to advance to the final later that afternoon. In some windy conditions the crew crossed the line third to earn a bronze medal behind UMass and Grand Valley State University, while finishing ahead of Bowdoin, Temple, and Marist. This is the first time since a three year streak from 2007-2009 the team has medaled in the freshman/novice four event.
Mid-morning on Friday the women's varsity eight took to the water for their heat in an event of 30 entries. The line-up of Lauren Turner, Courtney Purslow, Hannah Mazur, Julia Borsari, Gretchen Swabe, Hannah Olinger, Regina Dutz, Lauren Hughes, and coxswain Michelle Karkos raced comfortably to a first place finish ahead of Jacksonville, Fairfield and La Salle to automatically advance to the semi final races on Saturday morning. In the semi final the Dukes crossed the line second, 5 seconds behind Grand Valley State and 7 seconds ahead of Dayton to advance to the grand final later in the day. After some wet, windy weather delayed the finals in the afternoon to boat took to the water in ideal racing conditions for their final against A-10 Champion UMass, Grand Valley State, Drexel, Bucknell, and Fordham. The Dukes crossed the line 5th, less than .2 of a second ahead of conference foe Fordham. UMass won the event with Drexel second and Grand Valley third, Bucknell finished fourth.
The women's second varsity eight was one of the last events to race on Friday. With 18 entries it was a three heat race with top two boats from each race advancing directly to the final on Saturday. In one of their best races of the season the line up of Anne Stevens, Tory Snyder, Alex Watts, Marissa Conlin, Emma Reigel, Emily Herzig, Meredith Starczewski, Lindsay Wyllie, and coxswain Megan Parmarter finished third, just 4 seconds out of the second place spot claimed by Fordham, and less than .3 of a second ahead of Purdue. Overall the boat posted the 7th fastest time out of the heats. Drexel went on to finish second in the final behind the JV eight from Bucknell with Grand Valley State finishing in the third place spot.
In light of the senior members of the team missing graduation in order to take part in this race the team held a dinner and team graduation ceremony for our four seniors on Friday night. 2008 Olympic rower Renee Hykel was the keynote speaker for the event and it a was a pleasure to send off our seniors as a team. Regina Dutz, Michelle Karkos, Hannah Olinger, and Megan Parmarter have been a big part of this program and its growth over the last four years and they will be deeply missed.