The University of Minnesota rowing team competed in its first dual of the spring season, today, as the Golden Gophers faced No. 16 Tennessee at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
The Gophers opened the spring season last weekend when it competed in scrimmages against Notre Dame and Alabama. Training during their spring break, the Gophers used a full week to practice in Oak Ridge, while competing against the Lady Vols today. Facing a ranked team in the 1V8, the Gophers fell to the Lady Vols with times of 6:09.50 to 6:12.10. In Minnesota's First Varsity Eight was coxswain Linnea Trandem, Cassie Drozynski at stroke, Becky Kinchen, Tracy Merth, Erika Berg, Kayla Thom, Sarah Krueger, Molly Kalmoe and Teresa Logemann at bow.
The Gophers' Second Varsity Eight earned a win over Tennessee with a winning time of 6:15.10 to UT's time of 6:17.40. Earning the win was Sara Baldvins as the coxswain, Christine Beauparlant at stroke, Ellen Hughes, Leah Rogotzke, Kathryn Switalski, Ali Haws, Katrina Pichelli, Kate Ladell, and Maddy Bourgeois bow.
Minnesota's First Varsity Four narrowly edged out the Lady Vols for a win. The boat of Nicolle Fisher, Alexandria Voss, Sarah Sobek, Debbie Brzozowski and Katie Anderson kept ahead of Tennessee with a winning time of 6:58.51 to 6:58.91. In the 2V4 it was Tennessee who was victorious. The Lady Vols clocked a time of 6:56.00, while Minnesota's boat of coxswain Emilie Sabourin, Natalie Foshag at stroke, Caitlin Boon, Allison Putlak and Jennifer VanVliet at bow finished in 7:19.43.
Minnesota's First Novice Eight walked away with a win, while the Second Novice Eight came in third both competing in the same event. Minnesota's 1N8 of coxswain Olivia Vlahos, Katherine Windsor at stroke, Molly Gruber, Melissa Drezdzon, Sarah Sobek, Amber Meyer, Chelsea Miller, Erica Revering and Nicolette Marquardt at bow won the event in a time of 6:34.91. After Tennessee finished second in 6:50.46, Minnesota's 2N8 finished third in 6:51.04. In the Gophers' 2N8 was Mahogany Ellis (coxswain), Jen Kohl, McKenzie Fitzgerald, Kelly Brickl, Cassandra Meyer, Kate Moran, Kathryn DeSmidt, Deena Altschwager and Becca Curtis at bow.
"We feel great about what we accomplished with only one week of water time," head coach Wendy Davis said. "The 1V8 stuck to the plan to keep the stroke rate at a 30 in order to establish our power base. That being said, we were able to stay with the Tennessee crew throughout the race. Our 2V8 got a jump in the early stages of the race and capitalized on it in the middle portion. Our First Varsity 4 had a great race with Tennessee, putting on a strong charge at the end. It was nice to see us able to hold them off for the win. Our novice boats were powerful, nicely handling their first time on the starting line."
Minnesota returns home Sunday, only to leave for Iowa City, Iowa next week. The Gophers will face their first conference foe of the season when the Iowa Hawkeyes host the Gophers next Saturday. Race time is set for a 10 a.m. start.