Oct. 11, 2008
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee women's rowing team kicked off the fall season in style on Saturday at the Chattanooga Head Race, taking home seven total medals including gold and silver in each of the four events the team entered. The Lady Vols have now collected 44 total medals in their 12 trips to the event.
"We had a very strong start today," UT Head Coach Lisa Glenn said. "The team executed all aspects of our first competitive outing with class, good sportsmanship, and skill."
The Orange and White opened the day with first- and second-place finishes in the women's collegiate 8+ event. The gold medal Tennessee "A" shell featured junior coxswain Jessica Williams, junior Mary Dreusike, seniors Erin-Monique Shelton and Kate Brownlee, sophomore LibuÂše Bruncvíkova', juniors Laura Miller and Kate Snider, sophomore Melissa Toms and senior Caroline Howell. The Lady Vols second-place boat included junior coxswain Sydney Newman, sophomores Rachel Dooley and RuthAnne Waldrop, juniors Stephanie Hunley and Jewell Ludwigsen, sophomore Ruth Ann Johnson, freshmen Hilary Epes and Paula Coughlin, and sophomore Lora Aaron.
In women's collegiate pair, the Big Orange made up eight of the 10 entrants in the event. Howell and Toms combined to take home gold in the event, while Shelton and Dreusike finished second. The duo of Bruncvíkova' and Brownlee finished third to earn bronze and bring the Lady Vol medal total to five on the day. The UT shells took each of the top eight spots in the event.
The final event of the day was the women's collegiate 4+, which saw Tennessee take gold and silver again. Freshman coxswain Danielle Woods kicked off her career on a high note, guiding Shelton, Toms, Howell and Ludwigsen to a first-place finish in the four. The Orange and White shell of Newman, Snider, Brownlee, Bruncvíkova' and Dreusike took home the squad's seventh medal of the day.
Toms and Howell finished the day with three gold medals apiece, while Shelton and Dreusike notched first- and second-place showings in each of the events they entered. Brownlee and Bruncvíkova' also found success on the day, bringing home three medals each.
"I am very proud of the entire team for how well they performed in Chattanooga," Glenn said. "We will now turn our full attention to the competitive challenge that faces us in Boston."
Tennessee now looks ahead to next weekend's Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, Mass. In 2007, the Orange and White posted its best finish in program history at the Head of the Charles, taking fifth in the championship eight and winning gold in the club 8+ event. The event is one of the largest regattas in the world, drawing thousands of spectators and featuring shells from the U.S. National Team Training Center.