May 14, 2005

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OAK RIDGE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee powered through a three-hour delay as the varsity eight crew advanced to the Grand Final at the Aramark Central/South Region Sprints on Saturday at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Three other orange shells also advanced to the Petite Finals, as UT was not affected by thunder showers which halted racing action for three hours.

UT's varsity eight crew, ranked 11th in the USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Poll, advanced to the Grand Final after finishing third in its semifinal race with a time of 6:31.3, just behind 4th-ranked Ohio State (6:30.1). The UT boat, comprised of Molly Oellerich [cox.], Kaitlin Bargreen, Lauren Wells, Rachel Mayberry, McKenzie Craig, Dana Forbes, Chelsea Pemberton, Andrea Bagwell, Beth Schwartz, defeated No. 7 Michigan, No. 20 Louisville, Notre Dame and Central Florida. Earlier in the day, the squad placed second in its preliminary heat with a clocking of 6:42.19, behind only ninth-ranked Virginia (6:37.50). In addition to Tennessee, tomorrow's grand final will include No. 3 Michigan State, No. 4 Ohio State, No. 7 Michigan, No. 9 Virginia, and No. 14 Wisconsin. It will be the Big Orange's third straight appearance in the Grand Final at the event.

In second varsity eight action, the UT crew of Ashley Butturini [cox.], Sarah Hutcheson, Marissa Allen, Krista Gearing, Melissa DiCerbo, Kristen Galloway, Brittany Hunley, Genevieve Collins, and Christina Dobratz, moved on to Sunday's Petite Final with a second-place finish in its semifinal, crossing the line in 6:47.60, ahead of Indiana (6:58.0), Cincinnati (7:02.7) and Central Florida (7:05.9).

Also advancing to the Petite Final was the Lady Vol varsity four shell of Stephanie Davis (cox.), Stephanie Williams, Heather Hill, Renee Brittle and Adrienne Long, which finished second in its semifinal race with a time of 7:33.0. The open 4+ shell comprised of Jovanna Vick (cox.) Christy Boner, Olivia Marnell, Jennifer Gerlach, and Mary Jones will also compete in the Petite Final after finishing third in 8:26.0. Finally the Novice 8+ squad will compete in the Petite Final after crossing the line in fourth, in a time of 7:34.9, in its semifinal event.

Sunday's finals will begin at 9 a.m. and should conclude by noon.





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