April 21, 2012
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. - Tennessee's first and second novice eights led the pack on day one of the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships, placing first and third in the semifinals.
Those finishes allow both shells to secure a spot in Sunday's championship final on Melton Hill Lake.
"I think it goes to show the amount of work that they've put in this spring learning how to race," novice coach Sarah Arms said. "Today definitely showed that work is making them solid competitors and they're learning from each race."
UT's first novice eight won its semifinal heat in 7 minutes 8.0 seconds. That shell, coxed by Meagan Eaton and including Sarah McAuliffe, Sarah Castilaw, Jessica Anderson, Whitney Wolfe, Sarah Beth Nelius, Leighanne Self, Rachel Whitaker and Allison Toth, posted the fastest time of the morning, winning their heat in 7 minutes 17.9 seconds.
The second novice eight finished third in its morning heat as well as third in its semifinal heat. The morning session saw the Lady Vols post a 7-minute 47.3-second time before improving more than 16 seconds, crossing the finish line in 7 minutes 31.0 seconds in the semifinals. That shell was coxed by Oak Ridge, Tenn., native Jessica Herwig, and included Makenzie Hoffmeyer, Kaitlin Aries, Emily Cornelius, Katelyn Carr, Magan Berman, Maggie Collins, Hayley Clark and Sarah Copeland.
Both shells will compete in Sunday's championship final, beginning at 9:42 a.m.
"They know it will be a fast heat, so they're going into it with the same approach as today," said Arms. "We're just taking it one race at a time."
HEAT A: 1. Purdue 7:29.10, 2. Tennessee 2N8+ (Herwig (cox), Hoffmeyer, Aries, Cornelius, Carr, Berman, Collins, Clark, Copeland) 7:47.30 3. Florida 8:03.35
HEAT B: 1. Tennessee 1N8+ (Eaton (cox), McAuliffe, Castilaw, Anderson, Wolfe, Nelius, Self, Whitaker, Toth)
SEMIFINAL: 1. Tennessee 1N8 (Eaton (cox), McAuliffe, Castilaw, Anderson, Wolfe, Nelius, Self, Whitaker, Toth) 7:08.00, 2. Florida 7:20.5, 3. Tennessee 2N8+ (Herwig (cox), Hoffmeyer, Aries, Cornelius, Carr, Berman, Collins, Clark, Copeland) 7:31.00