Rowing to Compete at the Knecht Cup

  • By Brian Kuppelweiser
  • |
  • April 12, 2013 09:59 AM
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MORGANTOWN, W. Va. - The West Virginia University rowing team is set to compete at the Knecht Cup on April 13-14, in Camden, N.J., on the Cooper River.

“The Knecht Cup Regatta is a fantastic event,” says coach Jimmy King. “There is a festive atmosphere, which is usually only found at large events such as this, and it's where we usually see a great turnout of parents and alumni to cheer the team on.”

The Mountaineers have seven entries prepared to race this weekend. Two crews will be racing in the women’s 8+, two in the women’s 4+, one in the women’s novice 8+ and two in the women’s novice 4+.

“This weekend it's more about testing our speed against the large field against which we'll compete,” King said. “The varsity level crews are there to assess their speed at mid-year, while our novice level crews are there to gain valuable racing experience.”

Last year at the Knecht Cup, the varsity 8+ crew of Hilary Meale, Jenelle Spencer, Rachelle Purych, Danielle Widecrantz, Kelly Kramer, Shannon Gribbons, Karen Verwey, Courtney Schrand and coxswain Mallory Fisher raced to a fourth-place finish in the Petite Final. The crew finished 10th out of 31 entries, with a time of 6:42.72.

The second varsity 8+ crew made up of Jessica Hurlbert, Mollie Rosen, Elizabeth Duarte, Rachel Cokeley, Jessica Kelly, Amanda Hirsch, Danika Rencken, Lisa Deklau and coxswain Ellen Shular finished 17th out of 28 entries, with a time of 7:16.68.

The novice 4+ crew of Bethany Anne Sapen, Melinda Sharon, Enya Messersmith, Kaitlyn Eason and coxswain Alexandra Basil paced the Mountaineers last year, by advancing to the Grand Final and finishing sixth overall with a time of 8:34.05.

WVU is coming off of a weekend in which it had four crews (two varsity 8+ crews and two varsity 4+ crews) compete in Alabama for the first time in program history. In action against the Crimson Tide and UCF, 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 earned a first-place finish, which garnered Conference USA Boat of the Week honors and shared the Big 12 Boat of the Week Award with Texas.

“I'm happy not only for the first varsity 8+, but for the entire team,” King says. “While the first varsity 8+ certainly achieved that honor based upon their performance, they know, as well as I do, that the achievements of any one of our crews are made possible by our team's day-to-day collective efforts.”

Action is set to begin at 8:10 a.m., for the Mountaineers, and a recap of the day’s action will be available on WVUsports.com following the completion of competition.

For matchups, live updates and directions to the regatta, click here.


WVU Rowing, Big 12 Rowing, Conference USA Rowing, NCAA Rowing

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