MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University women's rowing team completed its first regatta of the fall season at the Head of the Ohio in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Saturday afternoon.
“Compared to last year's results one might surmise we took a step backward, but just the opposite is true,” said coach Jimmy King. “We took a step forward today in racing two 8+s that finished within eight seconds of each other; a sign that our team depth is improving. There is, of course, disappointment in placing out of the top spots, but today's performances in the 8+s is a very positive indicator for our program.”
The 8+ 'A' crew of Karen Verwey
, Rachelle Purych
, Jessica Hurlbert
, Kelly Kramer
, Brianna Dendler
, Mollie Rosen
, Lisa Deklau Hilary Meale
and coxswain Ellen Shular
crossed the finish line in 15:22.51, earning them a fourth-place finish.
The 8+ 'B' crew of Enya Messersmith
, Tamyra Roberts
, Bethany Anne Sapen
, Melinda Sharon
, Rachel Cokeley
, Danielle Widecrantz
, Elizabeth Kantak
, Mary Ignatiadis
and coxswain Mallory Fisher
finished eight seconds behind, in fifth place, with a time of 15:30.75.
The Varsity 4+ ‘A’ boat of Verwey, Purych, Kramer, Rosen and coxswain Fisher, led the Mountaineers with a second-place finish out of 27 schools.
Finishing with a time of 16:30.83, the Mountaineers trailed behind Dayton by only two seconds.
The 4+ 'B' crew of Cokeley, Widecrantz, Danika Rencken
, Jessica Hurlbert
and coxswain Shular finished 15th.
The 4+ 'C' crew of Sapen, Sharon, Elizabeth Duarte
, Kaitlyn Eason
and coxswain Caitlin Madamba
“Unlike the 8+s, I was disappointed to see the spread in time among our three 4+s,” King said. “Racing conditions deteriorated significantly by the afternoon, and although all of our crews approached the situation in the right mindset, our execution was lacking in terms of our team performance in that event. All three crews were able to identify parts of the race they could have done better, so they'll apply those lessons learned when needed again.”
The Mountaineers will continue their fall season on Saturday, Oct. 27, in Philadelphia, Pa. at the Head of the Schuylkill.