The No. 17 University of Minnesota rowing team earned a five-second win over Boston University and a 13 second differential against Kansas to win the First Varsity Eight race, today at Lake Phalen in St. Paul, Minn. The Gophers swept the varsity races, also winning the Second Varsity Eight and First Varsity Four races. In all, the Gophers won four of five races.
Minnesota’s First Varsity Eight jumped out to a two-seat lead in the first 500 meters of the 1,940-meter race course. The Gophers’ boat of Megan Flannery, Cheryl Wick at stroke, Berit Tomten, Laura Jatautaite,Vilma Stragyte, Jillian Casey, Jennifer Barnes, Erika Bartkute and Katie Biese at bow continued to crawl ahead in the first 1,000 meters. In the second half of the race, the Gophers pushed ahead and jumped out to a boat-length lead cruised past BU for the win. Minnesota clocked a time of 6:11.77, while BU chipped in a time of 6:16.87 and Kansas in third in 6:25.02.
“We had a great day of racing from all three of our varsity teams,” head coach Wendy Davis said. “It’s great to get quality teams on our home course in BU and Kansas. In the first 1,000 meters it was tight, but we’re a second 1,000 meter team and we were able to pull ahead. To win by five seconds over Boston University is very substantial.”
The Gophers’ 2V8 race cruised to wins over the Terriers and Jayhawks, winning the race in a time of 6:24.6. Minnesota’s 2V8 team consisted of coxswain Leah Gross, Megan Stuhlfaut, Rachel Hotkowski, Mary Ann Weinzierl, Catherine Casey, Sally Olson, Maggie Armstrong, Heidi Bechtel and Tina Cho. “Our 2V8 dominated the race from start to finish,” Davis said.
The Gophers had three boats in the Varsity Four race. Minnesota’s 1V4 team of Kaja Tally, Tracey Tallman, Katie Engel, Christine O’Donnell and Alissa Almquist clocked an impressive winning time of 7:12.4. The Gophers’ 2V4 of Stephanie Holzwart, Liz Ponder, Emily Baxter, Lauren Van Proosdy, and Angela Reesman placed second in a time of 7: 18.95. Minnesota’s 3V4 of coxswain Courtney Elm, Kelsey Underdahl, Jennifer Sharpe, Erika Wederquist and Samantha Thomas finished third in a time of 7: 37.0. Kansas had one Varsity Four team and finished fourth in a time of 7:39.9.
The Gopher Novice teams split action. The First Novice Eight defeated Kansas by eight seconds with a time of 6:42.2. KU held a time of 6:50.70 to place second. The 1N8 boat contained Erica Niemic, Katherine Johnson, Lisa Pugh, Ashlee Vilmo, Erin Desmond, Stephanie Bakkum, Anna Boyer, Susan Closmore and Allison Fisher.
The 2N8 team fell just short of winning their race, finishing in a time of 7:00.12. The Jayhawks, however, surged to a .52 lead and finished with a time of 6:59.6. The Gopher 2N8 team consisted of Sarah Woessner, Julia Beni, Jessica Veit, Lindsey Kamp, Katie Rowbottom, Alexandra Lacey, Madeline Murphy, Sarah Schuppenhauer, and Nicole Wahl.
The Gophers will host the Big Ten Championships next Saturday, April 29 on Lake Phalen. Of the seven teams teams in the Big Ten, five are ranked teams. Competing in the event is No. 5 Ohio State, No. 6 Michigan State, No. 8 Michigan, No. 17 Minnesota and No. 18 Wisconsin. Also competing will be Indiana and Iowa.