Novice Team to Compete at Head of the Occoquan

  • By Micah Truex
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  • November 02, 2012 04:21 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The West Virginia University novice rowing team is set to compete in its first regatta of the season on Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Head of the Occoquan on the Occoquan River in Fairfax Station, Va.

"This first race for the novice team is going to be a great test of their efforts and abilities,” says assistant coach Grace Doepker. “They are all brand new to the sport of rowing and have come a long way since the beginning of the season. Although I think there is still a lot of work to do, I am happy with where we are now.”

The Mountaineers have five entries set to compete in this year’s regatta. Two crews are set to race in the women’s novice 8+ event and three crews are entered in the women’s novice 4+ event.

“We’re going to be racing a lot of good programs, and I’m excited to see how we stack up against them,” adds Doepker. “Everyone is very eager to race and it should be a great weekend of racing.”

Last year, the novice 4+ ‘A’ crew of Brianna Dendler, Rachel Cokeley, Sarah Hansard, Enya Messersmith and coxswain Alexandra Basil crossed the finish line in 22:00.85, earning a second-place finish. The ‘B’ crew of Elizabeth Duarte, Bethany Anne Sapen, Virginia Cunningham, Bethany Shaw and coxswain Ashley Rumer finished the course in 23:42.68, placing them seventh.

In the women’s novice open 8+ competition, West Virginia’s ‘A’ crew of Dendler, Cokeley, Hansard, Lisa Deklau, Duarte, Melinda Sharon, Kaitlyn Eason, Messersmith and coxswain Basil finished in sixth place with a time of 20:40.84. The ‘B’ crew of Sapen, Bethany Shaw, Farrah El-Khatib, Cunningham, Caitlin Madamba, Emily Rencich, Courtney Rice, Allison Lowrance and coxswain Sarah Cochran placed 18th with a time of 23:53.22.

“Because all of the competing crews are frosh/novices, there are too many unknowns to hazard a prediction,” says coach Jimmy King. “Some crews have already raced while for others, like ours, the Occoquan is their first competition. Some crews will have experienced rowers in their lineups while others are true novice crews. Regardless, all we can do is race our race then see how we fare.”

For results throughout the day, http://rowobc.org/.


WVU Rowing, NCAA Rowing