April 18, 2003
OAK RIDGE, Tenn.
The University of Tennessee rowing team had a strong showing in the preliminary heats of the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta, advancing to the semifinals in each of its five races on Friday. Lady Vol boats clocked the fastest times of the prelims in the Varsity 8+, 2nd Varsity 8+, Varsity 4+ and Novice 4+ events, as well as the second-fastest time in the Novice 8+.
The Orange and White's Varsity 8+ crew, currently ranked 20th in the USRowing/CRCA Coaches Poll, turned in a time of 6:36.1 to finish more than 10 seconds ahead of runner-up Cincinnati in their heat. Louisville posted the second-quickest time of the prelims with a 6:41.2. In addition, the Lady Vol squad of junior Lizzie Brown (cox.), sophomore Kaitlin Bargreen, junior Nicole Bold, freshman Lauren Wells, sophomore Chelsea Pemberton, sophomore Dana Forbes, senior Kacey Montgomery, sophomore Melissa Dicerbo and junior Jessica Shreder out-clocked South Region crews from SMU (6:43.8), Central Florida (6:50.1), Stetson (6:56.4) and Jacksonville (6:59.4).
Tennessee's 2nd Varsity 8+ shell recorded the fastest time of the prelims by over 20 seconds with a 6:38.8. Lady Vols junior Erin Artz (cox.), junior Amy McIntosh, sophomore McKenzie Craig, sophomore Andrea Bagwell, senior Kelly Kravitz, senior Kelly Kraiss, freshman Lindsay Jones, sophomore Marissa Allen and senior Kay Logan crossed the finish line 20.8 seconds ahead of second-place Cincinnati (6:59.6).
UT's Varsity 4+ boat, powered by sophomore Jovanna Vick (cox.), sophomore Hilary Gilmore, junior Mary Beth Lewis, junior Mary Gruzalski and senior Sally BeVille, also looked impressive, clocked a 7:36.6 to finish 25.2 seconds ahead of runner-up Marietta in its prelim heat. Barry University turned in the second fastest prelim time with a 7:42.9.
The Lady Vol Novice 4+ crew also looked dominant in their preliminary race, as the all-freshman team of Jessica Dainty (cox.), Caitlyn Cleary, Katie Peterson, Jaclyn Adams and Andrea Searby turned in a time of 7:00.6. Virginia Tech recorded the second-best prelim time with a 7:17.1.
UT's Novice 8+ shell, composed of Maggie Wheeler (cox.), Holly Holmes, Beth Schwartz, Diane Samu, Ashley Anders, Hillary Graber, Amy McCormick, Lindsey Groves and Ariana Fitzgerald, also claimed victory in its prelim heat with a time of 6:55.8. A Purdue crew recorded the best prelim time at 6:52.9.
Rowing continues on Melton Hill Lake Saturday, as the semifinals for all races will be held between 7:30-11 a.m. The top three finishers from the semifinal heats will qualify for grand finals, while the fourth through sixth positions move on to petite finals. All petite and grand finals are scheduled for between 3:15-5:50 on Saturday afternoon.
After completing competition at the SIRA Championships, Tennessee competes next in South Carolina at the Clemson Classic, April 27, on Lake Hartwell.