Rowers Wrap Up Season at Dad Vail Regatta
May 15, 2012
One Friday, May 11th the Duquesne rowing team was in Philadelphia, PA to race in the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta. The regatta boasted entries from 127 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada with over 3,500 competitors racing over two days. Duquesne entered a Varsity Eight, a Freshman Eight, and a Novice four.
The first race for the Dukes was the women's varsity eight on Friday morning. The line-up of cox: Kristy Pietrone, stroke: Derin Ongun, Maria De Iuliis, Rachael Ross, Elizabeth Brennan, Samantha Newhart, Regina Dutz, Rachael Thornton, and bow: Laura Dunlap went up against crews from St. Joe's, Purdue, UNC, and Fordham. In a fantastic race, the Dukes advanced out of the heat and on to the repechage that afternoon finishing less than one second behind UNC and 31 seconds ahead of Fordham. In the rep, Duquesne raced in a strong field with Delaware (6:53.8), Western Ontario (7:00.5), Florida U (7:12.8), and Jacksonville (7:15.7). Finishing 3rd in the rep the Dukes (7:05.1) missed qualifying for the semi-final by finishing five seconds behind Western Ontario. Only the top two teams advance on to the semi-final the next morning.
The women's novice four of cox: Erin Browne, stroke: Lindsay Wyllie, Jennifer Houser, Katherine Eastwood, and bow: Nicole Wozniak took part in one of the best races of the morning. In a heat with teams from Temple, Oklahoma City, UConn, Stetson, and Lafayette the race saw five boats side by side battling for the two qualifying positions down the length of the course. In the end the Dukes finished in the third place spot a little over 1 second out of the second place qualifying spot. Temple finished first in 8:08.6, followed by Oklahoma City at 8:11.2, Duquesne at 8:12.8, UConn at 8:13.1, Stetson at 8:15.4, and Lafayette at 8:23.9.
The women's freshman eight had to wait until days end on Friday to race their heat for their event. The line-up of cox: Megan Parmarter, stroke: Lauren Turner, Courtney Purslow, Hannah Mazur, Marissa Conlin, Alex Watts, Julia Borsari, Alyssa McKernan, and bow: Gretchen Swabe finished first in 7:04.6 ahead of Delaware (7:11.3), Marist (7:17.2), Virginia Commonwealth (7:49.9), and Bryant (8:02.7). This top finish advanced the Dukes to the semi-final race on Saturday morning where they went up against crews from UNC, Pitt, Duke, Brock, and Rochester. The Dukes again came out on top posting a time of 6:59.9. UNC posted a 7:01.6 in second place to also advance to the final with Duquesne. The final on Saturday afternoon included strong crews from Drexel, Lehigh, Purdue, and Delaware. The Dukes had a strong start that kept them in the top three for the first portion of the race. As they came out of the turn through the Strawberry Mansion Bridge they held the fifth place spot. They made a nice push in the last 500, but crossed the line in fifth just .2 of a second out of fourth place. Drexel finished first in a time of 7:04.5, Lehigh was second in 7:09.8, Purdue finished third in 7:11.3, Delaware was fourth in 7:14.7, Duquesne posted a time of 7:14.9 in fifth place, and UNC rounded out the field in sixth with a time of 7:19.8.
Overall it was a great end to the Dukes spring season. This year Duquesne rowing was very young with 19 of their 34 members being freshmen. This young generation has shown that they are strong and the team is really looking forward to the 2012-13 season and what it can accomplish.