May 16, 2010
By Donnie Conley, Media Relations Student Assistant
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Lady Vol rowing team won the first-ever Conference USA Rowing Championship thanks to solid overall finishes in both the second and top varsity eight races at the 2010 Aramark Sprints.
For head coach Lisa Glenn, the win was a watershed moment for the program.
"I think it's a statement about the kind of opportunity we want to provide our student athletes," Glenn said. "It's special to us that we were able to be the first team to win the championship. I couldn't be happier that this team was the one that was able to earn it. It's fitting for the hard work that they've put in this year and it's really exciting for them."
Athletics Director Joan Cronan echoed similar sentiments.
"We were one of the first big universities in the south to start a rowing program," Cronan said. "To have come this far and win this conference, which is a great conference with really good competition, is wonderful. This is a step for our program that I think we can go far with and continue to succeed. I think our rowing program can be one of the most outstanding in the country."
The Orange and White finished seventh overall in the 2010 Aramark Sprints and third in the south region with a point total of 312. Virginia took the south region and the overall Aramark Cup for the third straight season. Big Ten champion Wisconsin snagged the Central region.
After being crowned Conference USA champions, Tennessee also collected several individual honors from the league.
Head Coach Lisa Glenn was named Conference Coach of the Year for her achievements. Sophomore Erika Lauderdale received the C-USA Newcomer of the Year award, while senior Laura Miller was named Rower of the Year.
Glenn said that Miller, who arrived at Tennessee with little rowing experience, is a testament to what can be achieved with hard work.
"She set some goals for herself early on in her career and kept her sights set on what she wanted to achieve," Glenn said. "She's a great example of what can be done when you set your mind to something. It's great for everyone to see that it doesn't matter if you've rowed before, you can accomplish anything."
In Grand Final of the top eight shell, Tennessee posted a sixth place finish in 6:39.73. UT also took sixth place in the Grand Final of the Second Varsity 8+, crossing the finish line in 6:50.78 and earning 102 points.
Though she would've liked a better finish, Glenn was pleased with her team's effort.
"I would've liked to have seen us drive the final a little bit better," Glenn said. "I think we raced consistently in the V8. The second eights had a little more speed than they were able to show. "That said, I thought yesterday was very well done on the part of both teams. I was very proud of how they distinguished themselves as grand finalists."
In the Petite Finals, the Lady Vols finished 5th in the Novice 8+ with a time of 7:08.07, earning eight points.
Also competing in the Petite Finals was the Varsity 4+ shell, which came in 6th in 7:52.04, good for 30 points.
UT's Open 4+ "A" boat recorded a second-place finish in the D Final, finishing in 8:09.54.
Tennessee will now await the NCAA Selection Show, which begins at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18 and will be available to watch online at NCAA.com. If UT receives an at-large bid, it will compete in the 2010 NCAA Rowing Championships, held in Gold River, Calif. from May 28-30.
Fans are reminded to follow the Lady Vols on Twitter at www.twitter.com/UTLadyVols
CONFERENCE USA AWARD WINNERS
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Erika Lauderdale, Tennessee
ROWER OF THE YEAR
Laura Miller, Tennessee
COACH OF THE YEAR
Lisa Glenn, Tennessee
Laura Skaggs, Alabama
Lindsey Lawrence, Kansas
Kris Richman, Kansas State
Catherine Campbell, SMU
Mary Cait McPherson, Texas
Aidan Leddy, Tulsa
Chelsey Lauzon, UCF
Jordynn Pauls, UCF
Rebecca Staff, Oklahoma
Chelsea Moore, Oklahoma
Meagan Harrell, Oklahoma
Laura Miller, Tennessee
Katie Ross, Tennessee
Jewell Ludwigsen, Tennessee
Rachel Dooley, Tennessee
|Open 4+ D Final||2nd||8:09.54||1|
|Novice 8+ Petite Final||5th||7:08.07||8|
|Varsity 4+ Petite Final||6th||7:52.04||30|
|Second Varsity 8+ Grand Final||6th||6:50.78||102|
|Varsity 8+ Grand Final||6th||6:39.73||171|