MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University rowing team, which was competing in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on the Black Warrior River against Alabama and UCF, earned one first-place finish on Saturday afternoon.
"Today's racing presented an excellent opportunity to evaluate our crews in true racing conditions and to measure ourselves against Conference USA foes Alabama and UCF," said coach Jimmy King.
The first varsity 8+ crew of Rachelle Purych
, Lisa Deklau
, Kelly Kramer
, Danielle Widecrantz
, Elizabeth Kantak
, Jessica Hurlbert
, Karen Verwey
, Courtney Schrand
, and coxswain Mallory Fisher
paced the Mountaineers with a first-place finish (7:41.5) over the Golden Knights (7:43.2) and the Crimson Tide (7:52.1).
"The best performance of the day was by our first varsity 8+ crew, and not just because they won, but in how they won," King said. "For much of the race they were down open water to UCF gaining contact only in the last 500 meters. The poise with which they raced today made the difference in the end."
WVU’s second varsity 8+ crew of Bethany Anne Sapen
, Melinda Sharon
, Hilary Meale
, Mary Ignatiadis
, Mollie Rosen
, Tamyra Roberts
, Jeannine McCarty
, Elizabeth Duarte
, and coxswain Morgan Leach
trailed behind UCF (7:48.4) and Alabama (7:50.4) for a third-place finish with a time of 7:57.6.
"Our second varsity 8+ failed to execute a complete race from start to finish," King said. "They put together a solid first thousand, but lost their rhythm in the second thousand allowing Alabama and UCF to get away from them. I'm confident they will learn from today's experience and execute better next week."
The Crimson Tide took the top finishes in both the first and second varsity 4+ races, with the Mountaineers' first varsity crew of Susannah Hartlove
, Allison Coates
, Danika Rencken
, Mary Cook
and coxswain Alexandra Basil
finishing in third (9:13.9) and second varsity crew of Kendra Welker
, Kaitlyn Eason
, Enya Messersmith
, Caroline Mullins
and coxswain Sarah Dodd
finishing in second (9:10.4). The Golden Knights did not have a crew compete in the varsity 4+ ‘B’ race.
"Our 4+s struggled a bit today," King said "The first varsity 4+ in particular was off compared to what they have demonstrated in the past, but our second varsity 4+ showed improvement. We expect much more from those crews as the season progresses."
WVU will continue action on April 13-14, at the Knecht Cup Regatta on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J. ResultsFirst Varsity 8+
1) WVU – 7:41.5
2) UCF –7:43.2
3) Alabama – 7:52.1Second Varsity 8+
1) UCF – 7:48.4
2) Alabama – 7:50.4
3) WVU – 7:57.6First Varsity 4+
1) Alabama – 8:48.5
2) UCF – 8:48.7
3) WVU – 9:13.9Second Varsity 4+
1) Alabama – 9:02.5
2) WVU – 9:10.4