Varsity Rowers Wrap Up Fall Season in Virginia
The lightweight four finished third at the Head of the Occoquan

Nov. 8, 2011

On Saturday, November 5th the Duquesne Women were in Fairfax, VA for the Head of the Occoquan in sunny conditions. In what can be deemed one of the best races of the season for its tough competition and curvy course the Dukes showed their speed with many top finishes.

The first race of the morning was the women's varsity eight in which Duquesne had two entries. The first varsity eight of cox: Kristy Pietrone, cox: Derin Ongun, Maria De Iuliis, Rachael Thornton, Regina Dutz, Hannah Olinger, Laura Dunlap, Rachael Ross, and Sam Newhart finished 6th out of 25 entries. Less than a second separated fourth place Georgetown (18:34.54), fifth place Delaware (18:34.84) and fifth place Duquesne (18:35.40). George Washington's first eight finished second in 18:17.30. Duquesne's second eight of cox: Michelle Karkos, stroke: Lauren Turner, Gretchen Swabe, Hannah Mazur, Beth Brennan, Julia Borsari, Courtney Purslow, Stephanie King, and Kamryn Thorpe posted a fantastic 11th place finish in the same event less than one tenth of a second behind Penn State's varsity eight while beating George Washington's second varsity eight by 33 seconds.



The next event for the Dukes was the women's novice eight event. This was the first time that many of these freshman have ever raced in a rowing event and of the 24 entries they finished 14th. Many of the top 10 crews consisted of freshman that had previously rowed in high school but are still considered novice at the collegiate level. The line-up of cox: Megan Parmarter, stroke: Alex Watts, Kelsey Kinnare, Julia Borsari, Emily Gorham, Megan Boley, Lindsay Wyllie, Marissa Gero, and Amanda Forney looked technically solid crossing the finish line showing a great base on which to build strength and speed.

The final races of the day for Duquesne were the women's varsity fours. Duquesne entered both their lightweight four of cox: Kristy Pietrone, stroke: Rachael Ross, Maria De Iuliis, Rachael Thornton, and Derin Ongun and their freshman four of cox: Michelle Karkos, stroke: Lauren Turner, Courtney Purslow, Hannah Mazur, and Gretchen Swabe in the event of 23 crews. The lightweight four finished third just 6 seconds behind George Washington's A boat, and 35 seconds ahead of GW's B boat, while the freshman four finished 6th to 5th place Delaware and just 2 seconds ahead of Pitt's varsity four. George Mason won the event.

Also racing during the day was coach Carol Schoenecker in the Championship single where she finished first by 20 seconds.

This is one of the best performances as a team that Duquesne has ever seen at this event and the coaching staff is looking forward to gained power and speed over winter training. With the results posted at this race the Dukes have now earned an invitation to race at the George Washington Invite in the spring. This is a prestigious race that is strictly invite only and invitations are only extended to 6 teams each year. Duquesne looks forward to racing teams from MIT, Georgetown, the US Naval Academy, St. Joseph's University, and George Washington University over the course of two days in early April.

For complete results for the Head of the Occoquan please visit

For video of all races please visit


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