April 26, 2010
WORCESTER, Mass. - The University of Connecticut women's rowing team competed at the BIG EAST Championships on Sunday and finished fith of eight teams in the event.
The highlight of the day for UConn was the novice eight boat finishing second in the event to overall champion Notre Dame. Georgetown was second followed by Syracuse and Louisville while the Huskies beat out West Virginia, Rutgers and Villanova.
The novice eight won its heat race comfortably, then challenged Notre Dame in the final but came up just short of gold.
"It has been so fun to watch the success of this eight all spring," says UConn head coach Jennifer Sanford-Wendry. "They train hard together and have fun in the process. Winning races has helped them build the chemistry and confidence that makes a crew successful. I look forward to seeing what kind of success they will have at the Dad Vail Championship."
UConn's novice four was the other Husky boat to bring home medals, finishing third in its event. That boat was comprised of freshman Mandy Collins (Harrisville, R.I.), freshman Kelly Macko (Boston, Mass.), sophomore Meredith Malinn (Norwood, Mass.), freshman Mara Gauger (Winsted, Conn.) and freshman Jessica Motta (Norwood, Mass.).
The second varsity four finished fourth, which was a good placement for them given that stroke seat sophomore Sara Trevisani (Duxbury, Mass.) rolled her ankle on a warm-up jog right before launching. She was in a weakened state having the ankle roll, but did a great job competing with that distraction. That boat was made up of sophomore Lindsay Sutherland (Willington, Conn.), Trevisani, sophomore Kylie Angell (Trumbull, Conn.),sophomore Ashley Kalinauskas (Vernon, Conn.) and junior Ashley Burness (Hampton, N.H.).
The varsity four advanced to the finals and finished sixth in a very tight races between fourth and sixth place. That boat was sophomore Brittanie Reinold (Sulton, Mass.), sophomore Jessica Chames (Hookset, N.H.), senior Kristen Beasley (Centerville, Mass.), sophomore Mary Fowler (Milford, Conn.) and junior Amanda Cote (Wakefield, R.I.).
UConn's junior varsity eight had two solid pieces yet was unable to finish better than sixth in the final. That boat was senior Leah Masopust (Morris, Conn.), senior Heather Likar (East Lyme, Conn.), sophomore Amanda Sibley (Old Lyme, Conn.), senior Liz Harsley (Riverdale, N.J.), senior Sylvia Czupi (Woodbridge, Conn.), sophomore Andriel Doolittle (Clinton, Conn.), sophomore Mary Grace Haggett (Ledyard, Conn.), sophomore Diana Filipek (Sewell, N.J.) and sophomore Dana Haddad (Storrs, Conn.).
The varsity eight damaged their shell while launching for the final, and had to row in the novice eight shell which is different than what they are used to. In addition, the novice eight shell experienced some equipment problems before the start of the race. The varsity finished sixth in the final, under challenging circumstances. That boat was senior Michael-Ann Sevick (Simsbury, Conn.), senior Katie Rauscher (Manchester, Conn.), senior Sarah Willhoft (Manchester, Conn.), junior Audrey Squire (Kinnelon, N.J.), senior Lizzie Littlewood (Mystic, Conn.), junior Gretchen Stern (Rexford, N.Y.), junior Kim Weber (Ridgefield, Conn.), senior Jennifer Reynolds (South Hero, Vt.) and junior Morfia Efthimiou (Stonington, Conn.).
Stern earned first team All-BIG EAST Conference honors while Willhoft earend second team.
"I think our crews across the board raced to their potential today," said Sanford-Wendry. "It was great to see two boats bring home medals and the other goal we had was to have all boats make the grand finals, which we did. With a fifth place overall finish today, we improved by one spot from last year's sixth place finish. I'm excited to keep the momentum going as we train for the next two weeks in preparation for the Dad Vail Regatta."
The Huskies conclude their season on Friday and Saturday, May 7 and 8, at the Dad Vails in Philadelphia.