May 31, 2003
INDIANAPOLIS - The Tennessee Lady Vol rowing team concluded its most successful season in program history with a 16th-place finish in the First Eights competition at the NCAA Championships on Saturday.
The 14th-ranked Orange and White crew 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 senior Kay Logan battled difficult weather conditions to record a time of 6:32.44, placing them fourth in the First Eights C Final. Wind gusts near 35 miles per hour made the 2000-meter course on Eagle Creek Reservoir extremely turbulent, while conditions were also very cool as the temperature hovered around 50 degrees. No. 16 Michigan State took home the C final title in a time of 6:22.99, followed by No. 15 Boston University and No. 7 Washington State.
In addition to earning its first-ever bid to NCAAs in the Varsity 8+, Tennessee etched a number of other landmark achievements into the record books this season. The Lady Vols gained their first ranking in the USRowing/CRCA Varsity Eight Coaches Poll, and then went on to climb all the way to the 14th spot in the final edition of the poll. The Big Orange also recorded significant victories in the Club 8+ at the Head of the Charles, and by sweeping the varsity events at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships. Although Tennessee has to bid farewell to seniors Montgomery and Logan from its Varsity 8+ boat, the Lady Vols will return seven of the nine crew members for next season.
The 2003 NCAA Women's Rowing Championships will wrap up on Sunday, highlighted by the First Eights Grand Final. In that race, crews from Southern California, Washington, Michigan, Harvard, Virginia and Stanford will battle for the right to be crowned national champions. Although UT is no longer in contention for the First Eights title, the Lady Vols will have two pairs boats racing in the spares competition. The pairs competition is not an officially sponsored NCAA event, however, the winners will have bragging rights to say they are the fastest pairs in the nation. One Tennessee pair will be powered by junior Jessica Shreder and sophomore Andrea Bagwell, while junior Amy McIntosh and sophomore McKenzie Craig make up the other duo.
NCAA Women's Rowing Championships
First Eights, C Final
1. Michigan State 6:22.99
2. Boston University 6:27.61
3. Washington State 6:27.74
4. Tennessee 6:32.44
Complete results from the 2003 NCAA Women's Rowing Championships are available on the Internet at http://www.iuhoosiers.com/ncaa/rowing/index.html