UConn rowing set for challenge before end of season
The UConn rowing team will compete in its final tune-up this weekend before beginning to train for the Dad Vail Regatta and the Big East Championships in May.
The Huskies will travel to Lewisburg, PA for some stiff compeititon against the Bucknell Bison, Delaware Blue Hens and the West Virginia Mountaineers.
After poor performances last weekend in a three-team race against Holy Cross and Boston College, UConn Head Coach Jennifer Sanford-Wendry decided it was time to shake things up.
Tuesday morning at practice we started with two equal boats and my plan was to build a varsity eight as the pieces went on, switching people to try different combinations," Sanford-Wendry said. "The end result has three new people in the varsity eight... Maybe we found something, we'll see on Saturday."
Junior Charlotte Kelley will remain as the coxswain on the team's top boat. She will lead senior Adrienne Barrett, juniors Natalie Carlone, Kristen Harrington, Julia Roth, Kendra Kohanski, Erin Mounce and sophomores Kate Hughes and Laura Webster.
"I am looking at this weekend as a training opportunity to practice rowing aggressively and to forget the negativity of last weeks race," Kelley said.
The UConn varsity eight posted a subpar time of 7:02.86 on Sunday. They lost to Holy Cross by nearly 25 seconds in the 2,000-meter course.
UConn will race four other boats beginning with the second varsity eight. Sophomore coxswain Elise McCormick heads a boat consisting of senior Hillary Wiles-LaFayette, Caitlin Swallow, Melissa Soucie, Brittany Depoi juniors Ashley West, Chelsea Zabel, sophomore Abbie Viner and freshman Audrey Kelley. The second varsity eight boat was one of two UConn boats that finished second against Boston College and Holy Cross last week. They beat out Holy Cross by .29 seconds.
The other boat that finished second was the varsity four. Senior Amber Crispino, sophomores Liz Tomasco, Teresa Starzecki, Doe Bajguz finished in a time of 7:59.04, respectable in the event. Sophomore Amanda Litty is the newcomer to the four-woman boat.
The third varsity eight boat is comprised of seniors Mara Gauger, EJ Joseph, Tess Counoyer, juniors Emi Nishino, Abi Lowry sophomores Haley Ullinger, Grace Counoyer and freshmen Emily Wilson and Meg Pirsig.
The novice eight boat is made up of sophomore Christine Latona, Stephanie Varanelli, freshmen Marissa Minor, Anna Sullivan, Emily Powers, Meg Duva, Brittany Shakley, Ally Hopson, and Peri Stevens. UConn did not race a novice boat its last time out by the novice eight boat advanced to the semifinals two weeks ago at the Knecht Cup and finished in a time of 7:49.88.
UConn is not a stranger to Bucknell, Delaware and West Virginia. All three schools competed against the Huskies at the Knecht Cup in Camden, N.J.
The Bison boast the top varsity eight boat in the northeast. They finished first overall in with a time of 6.42.74. Bucknell also placed second overall in the varsity four race and had two other boats advance to grand finals.
West Virginia place fifth in the varsity eight final, less than seven seconds behind the winning Bucknell boat. The West Virginia second varsity eight finished tenth overall out of 30 teams.
Delaware is likely the weakest of UConn's opponents this weekend considering the Blue Hens only had one boat, the second varsity eight, advance to a final in the Knecht Cup. UConn edged Delaware by one second in the third final of the second varsity eight event.
The Dad Vail Regatta is set for May 10 and 11 in Philadelphia.
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