MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The West Virginia University rowing team concluded racing at the Big 12 Championships on the Wyandotte County Lake in Kansas City, Kan.
The Mountaineers competed in five of the six events, tallying 75 points for a fourth-place finish overall.
“I'm pleased with the overall performance of our team today,” said coach Jimmy King. “Regardless of the finish position of any of our crews, each crew has clearly progressed over the past few weeks.”
WVU’s varsity eight crew of Rachelle Purych
, Danielle Widecrantz
, Kelly Kramer
, Lisa Deklau
, Elizabeth Kantak
, Jessica Hurlbert
, Karen Verwey
, Courtney Schrand
and coxswain Mallory Fisher
kicked off racing for the Mountaineers by competing in the first event of the day.
The crew crossed the finish line in 6:36.45 in third place, a spot higher than its seed of fourth, behind Oklahoma (6:28.39) and Texas (6:31.15).
“The first and second varsity eights raced particularly well today,” said King. “The 2V8 was down to Texas by about 3-seats going into the last 500m, then charged hard to come up just a bow deck short at the line. The 1V8 had a good start, but still found themselves more or less even with Kansas for fourth/fifth place at 500m in before they started to move on K-State who was about a half-length up. The 1V had a really solid middle thousand that carried them ahead of K-State and then in the last 500m was able to get overlap with Texas before they crossed the line.”
Junior Courtney Schrand
was named to the All-Big 12 First Team. Senior Rachelle Purych
was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team.
“Courtney is the epitome of "all-conference" because she brings it every day,” said King. “She has been bringing it every day for three years now, which is why this is her third first team all-conference honor. Rachelle has overcome much this winter and for that she deserves every bit of recognition she garners. Very quietly and with great fortitude she turned what could have easily been a lost season for her personally into one of her best including scoring a personal best on her 2k erg test earlier this week.”
Following the varsity eight, the second varsity eight lined up to race. The crew of Bethany Anne Sapen
, Melinda Sharon
, Mollie Rosen
, Tamyra Roberts
, Hilary Meale
, Mary Ignatiadis
, Jeannine McCarty
, Elizabeth Duarte
and coxswain Ellen Shular
finished the race in 6:46.66.
The crew finished fourth, a spot higher than its seed of fifth, behind Oklahoma (6:34.24), Kansas (6:41.14) and Texas (6:46.15), but ahead of Kansas State (6:54.16).
Next up for the Mountaineers was the first varsity four heat. The crew of Enya Messersmith
, Allison Coates
, Susannah Hartlove
, Rachel Cokeley
and coxswain Morgan Leach
finished fifth with a time of 7:48. 61, behind Oklahoma (7:18.92), Texas (7:20.15), Kansas State (7:24.82) and Kansas (7:31.55).
Following the varsity four, the second varsity four crew of Kimberlie May
, Danika Rencken
, Kaitlyn Eason
, Sarah Taylor
and coxswain Sarah Dodd
finished their race in 8:00.76.
The crew finished in fourth place behind Texas (7:28.25), Oklahoma (7:34.17) and Kansas (7:34.67).
Lastly, the third varsity eight crew of Tiffany Hatcher
, Angelica Fell
, Allyson Pytlak
, Addie Dulaney
, Kendra Welker
, Mary Cook
, Summer Socha
, Caroline Mullins
and coxswain Alexandra Basil
raced to a fifth-place finish in 7:01.12.
The crew finished behind Texas (6:46.48), Oklahoma (6:49.07), Kansas State (6:54.97) and Kansas (6:58.32).
Oklahoma won the Big 12 team title for the first time, with 136 points, followed by Texas (117), Kansas (81), West Virginia (75) and Kansas State (66).
“Fourth place in the team standings is a good result for our first year in the Big 12,” King concluded. “Going into the last event, the Varsity 8+, we were tied with Kansas State, so the difference between fourth and fifth came down to the final race. Our varsity eights led the way for us today and represented WVU very well within the Big 12 Conference.
“The coaches of the other schools and the officials of the Big 12 were very welcoming to us this weekend and I want to commend Kansas for the great job they did in hosting the championship.”
The Mountaineers will conclude their spring season at the Conference USA Championships on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn., on May 18.