April 22, 2012
Tennessee's first novice eight shell claimed the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Women's N8+ title Sunday morning on Melton Hill Lake.
The boat, coxed by Meagan Eaton, crossed the finish line in 7 minutes 1.4 seconds, more than seven seconds ahead of second-place Purdue. Eaton's shell included Sarah McAuliffe, Sarah Castilaw, Jessica Anderson, Whitney Wolfe, Sarah Beth Nelius, Leighanne Self, Rachel Whitaker and Allison Toth.
"I wasn't sure what to expect coming into the weekend, but I knew this group has put a lot of hard work into their training," novice coach Sarah Arms said. "With the improvement we made over spring break and over the last few weeks, I expected them to have a pretty strong showing."
UT's second novice eight placed sixth overall. The shell coxed by Jessica Herwig, and including Makenzie Hoffmeyer, Kaitlin Aries, Emily Cornelius, Katelyn Carr, Magan Berman, Maggie Collins, Hayley Clark and Sarah Copeland, finished in 7:24.03.
This is the best showing for UT since the novice squad completed a 1-2 finish at the 2005 SIRA Championships. The 2005 1N8+ is the only other Tennessee novice eight to claim a title.
The novice squad now moves back into preparation mode in advance of the Conference USA Championships, which Tennessee hosts on May 12 on Melton Hill Lake.
"They are soaking up every ounce of information they can and they're starting to understand specifically what they need to work on," said Arms. "Understanding that and taking that into the next few weeks after today will be very important before the conference championships."
The Lady Vols varsity squad is back in action on April 28 as they travel to Princeton.
GRAND FINAL: 1. Tennessee 1N8 (Eaton (cox), McAuliffe, Castilaw, Anderson, Wolfe, Nelius, Self, Whitaker, Toth) 7:01.4, 2. Purdue 7:08.60, 3. Kansas State 7:11.12, 4. Florida 7:14.04, 5. Georgia Tech 7:23.70, 6. Tennessee 2N8+ (Herwig (cox), Hoffmeyer, Aries, Cornelius, Carr, Berman, Collins, Clark, Copeland) 7:31.00