The University of Minnesota rowing team kicked off its fall season, hosting the Head of the Mississippi today at East River Flats on campus. The Golden Gophers won the Open Eight race, while the Novice team finished second in its respective events.
The Maroon and Gold faired well in the Varsity Eight races, placing first second and third in the Open Eight race. The Gophers' B boat of coxswain Leah Gross, Berit Tomten, Jillian Casey, Jennifer Barnes, Erika Bartkute, Katie Engel, Maggie Armstrong, Tina Cho and Megan Stuhlfaut won the Open Eight race in a time of 14:00 flat. The Gophers’ C boat of Megan Flannery, Cheryl Wick, Katie Biese, Vilma Stragyte, Laura Jatautaite, Catherine Casey, Mary Ann Weinzierl, Lauren Van Proosdy and Alissa Almquist finished second in a time of 14:11, just :11 short of the Minnesota A boat.
Minnesota’s A boat of coxswain Kaja Tally, Christine O'Donnell, Emily Baxter, Jennifer Sharpe, Carina Enbody, Katherine Johnson, Erin Desmond, Kelsey Underdahl and Erica Stillman finished third overall with a time of 14:45, while the Minneapolis Rowing Club finished fourth overall in 14:53.
Minnesota had one boat compete in the Open Four. Coxswain Stephanie Holzwart, Tracey Tallman, Liz Ponder, Angela Reesman, Rachel Hotkowski finished fourth overall, chipping in a time of 16:26. The Minnesota Boat Club won the event with a time of 15:49.
In novice action, the Minnesota A team finished second in the Women’s Novice Eight action. The boat of coxswain Erica Niemic, Emily Johnson, Ruth Sarafin, Stephanie Bakkum, Lindsey Kamp, Ashlee Vilmo, Makenzie Schiller, Erika Wederquist and Sarah Schuppenhau clocked a time of 17:24, finishing second behind the Minneapolis Rowing Club. Minnesota’s B boat of coxswain Veronica Kuntz, Anna Boyer, Caroline Loftus, Tomekia Battle, Nichole Wahl, Jessica Veit, Katie Rowbottom, Lorayne Pitchford and Grace Murphy placed third overall with a time of 17.43.
Minnesota also competed in the Novice Four race, winning the event in 18:22. The winning boat contained coxswain Sarah Woessner, Susan Closmore, Allison Fisher, Nell Curtis and Alexandra Lacey.
The Gophers head to Rockford, Ill., next weekend to compete in the Head of the Rock regatta, Oct. 9.