The Lady Vols will be aiming to earn a bid to the 2010 NCAA Rowing Championships
May 14, 2010
By Donnie Conley, Media Relations Student Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The No. 16-ranked University of Tennessee women's rowing team will battle for multiple titles at the 2010 Aramark Sprints, set to begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
The 14th annual Aramark Sprints will serve as both the South/Central region championships and the Conference USA Championship.
Conference USA has three full-time members that sponsor women's rowing: SMU, Tulsa and UCF. Six additional programs serve as affiliate members in the league as C-USA welcomes Alabama, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
UT is returning from a two-week layoff. The Orange and White took one victory from No. 2 Princeton on May 1.
This year's event features the top six teams from the both the South and Central regions, including two-time defending Aramark Sprint Champions, Virginia. The Cavaliers currently sit at No. 3 in the CRCA/USRowing poll, receiving one first place vote. Additionally, eight schools in the field rank among the top 20 teams in the nation.
Last year, UVA recorded 387 points to top runner-up and Central Region champion Michigan for the Aramark Sprints title.
Currently, the Big Orange ranks 16th nationally and third in the South Region. UT boasts the best 2V8+ boat in the region, ahead of Virginia and Clemson.
The sprints feature 24 schools competing in five race categories: varsity eight, second varsity eight, varsity four, open four and novice eight. Tennessee will have at least one boat in each event, including two in the open four.
With NCAA Championships just two weeks away, the Aramark Sprints serve as a final chance for the South and Central region squads to boost their NCAA résumés. Just 12 schools will earn full-squad invitations to the championships along with four at-large V8+ shells, so this weekend could prove crucial in the teams' bids for a trip to Gold River, Calif., on May 28.
Six schools from the 2009 Aramark field went on to the NCAA Championships: Virginia (4th place at NCAAs), Michigan State (6th), Ohio State (8th), Michigan (9th), Clemson (12th) and Wisconsin (13th)
The weekend will kick off with preliminary heats Saturday morning with the top teams in each heat advancing to the afternoon session semifinals. Event finals will be held Sunday, and teams accumulate points to determine the regional, Conference USA and overall champions.
Races at the 2010 Aramark Sprints are set for 9 a.m. on Saturday with the first of four heats in the open 4+. The novice 8+, varsity 4+, second varsity 8+ and varsity 8+ heats follow in 10-minute intervals. After a short break, the semifinals begin at 2 p.m., and finals will open at 9 a.m. on Sunday. For updated schedules and results, log on to UTLadyVols.com throughout the weekend.
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