Varsity Eight Defends Title at Head of the Ohio
The Dukes opened the 2015-16 racing season Saturday at the Head of the Ohio.
Oct. 5, 2015

On Saturday, October 3rd, Duquesne Women’s rowing took to their home course on the Allegheny River for the 38th Annual Head of the Ohio. The Dukes handled the cold wet conditions well for the day on the shifted downriver course.

The first event of the morning was the Women’s Open 8 in which Duquesne entered 5 boats. The A entry of coxswain Faith Caldiero, stroke Anne Stevens, Rachel Swain, Sydnie Pennington, Lauren Hughes, Emily Herzig, Cassandra Holder, Serena Benages, and bow Jessica Goldstein defended the first place finish from last year with a time of 12:50.47, just shy of 8 seconds ahead of West Virginia University (12:58.53). The E entry was an alumni boat, which consisted of 8 women from the class of 2015, finished in fourth place with a time of 13:27.93 (coxswain Kristy Pietrone, Stroke Courtney Purslow, Alexandra Watts, Julia Borsari, Hannah Mazur, Lindsay Wyllie, Victoria Snyder, Gretchen Swabe, bow Lauren Turner). Duquesne’s B entry of coxswain Amanda Booth, stroke Kaitlyn Clem, Emily Ames, Margot Gagen, Madeleine Troppe, Mary Katherine Byrne, Samantha Dunn, Meredith Starczewski, and bow Alison Kane crossed the line in 13:34.48 for 5th place while the C entry of coxswain Caroline Dirr, stroke Maureen O’Brien, Jenna Boyd, Kira Butler, Antonia Maffia, Shelby Rocco, Olivia Delaney, Marianna Manfredi, and bow Morgan Starczewski finished 6th in 13:47.26, 8 second ahead of the varsity eight from Marietta College. The D entry of coxswain Abigail Guenther, stroke Lauren Murray, Margaret Cunningham, Lauryn Garretson, Kasie Sayers, Allison Schmitt, Mary Kate Keenoy, Sarah Clair, and bow Olivia Szallai finished 9th in 14:23.59.



In the Women’s Open 4 event the senior 4 of stroke Meredith Starczewski, Lauren Hughes, Emily Herzig, Rachel Swain, and coxswain Faith Caldiero finished second taking the course in a time of 14:04.86, which was less than 1 second behind the first place boat from WVU (14:04.33). The C sophomore entry of stroke Samantha Dunn, Cassandra Holder, Mary Katherine Byrne, Madeleine Troppe, and coxswain Amanda Booth finished 7th in 14:42.05 with the D junior entry of stroke Anne Stevens, Alison Kane, Margot Gagen, Kaitlyn Clem, and coxswain Caroline Dirr just 3.8 seconds behind in 8th place (14:45.89). The B sophomore entry of stroke Syndie Pennington, Serena Benages, Marianna Manfredi, Jessica Goldstein, and coxswain Abigail Guenther was less than 2 seconds off of the D entry with a time of 14:47.64. The E freshman entry of Lauren Murray, Margaret Cunningham, Allison Schmitt, Kasie Sayers, and coxswain Mary Clay finished 12th in a time of 15:37.51 while the F alumni entry of Hannah Olinger, Elizabeth Brennan, Regina Dutz, Brittney DelPizzo, and Michelle Karkos finished 14th in 15:59.89.

Duquesne also had two alumni doubles race during the day with Elizabeth Rhodes and Victoria Snyder finishing second and Laura Dunlap and Samantha Newhart finishing third in the Women’s Open 2x.

Head Coach Joe Setting had this to say about the weekend of racing, “I was pleased with the efforts of the team in the first race of the year. We have been training hard and having very productive practices each day since just after Labor Day, but we have significant room for improvement across the board and I am looking toward gaining more speed in the next three weeks leading up to our next regatta.”

Setting continued, "Our V8 was able to hold off a strong West Virginia University squad to retain the championship in the Open 8 event. They raced well and showed great poise throughout the body of the race, but they are capable of being faster. WVU was a great push for them, as was the University of Pittsburgh. Our 2V8 and 3V8 result is an accurate reflection of what has been taking place in practice. They trade places frequently. Both raced well, but I want to see both boats move up in the race standings. I am optimistic more productive practice reps will position us better come our next racing opportunity. Our 4V8 was comprised largely of freshman athletes and just the racing experience alone with other college crews was the objective.”

The Dukes will be back to competition on Saturday, October 24th in Philadelphia, PA for the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta.


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