KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee women’s rowing team announced its fall schedule, which features four head races. Following a program-best ninth-place finish at the NCAA Championships last season, the Lady Vols have put together a well-rounded fall schedule to prepare them for a tough spring slate.
“We look at the fall season as an enhancement to our training for the spring,” UT Head Coach Lisa Glenn said. “Race distances are longer, more than double the distance of our spring competitions. It just gives us an opportunity to get out away from the home waters and test ourselves in a fun, competitive environment.”
The Orange and White will open the season next weekend at the Chattanooga Head Race over Oct. 11-14. Tennessee will be looking to continue its success at Chattanooga after taking first and second in the championship eight, championship four and championship two events in 2006. In its 12-year history, UT has collected 34 gold medals in the event.
“We start out with the Chattanooga Head Race which is a lot of fun for us, because it’s close by, and we enjoy working out early race kinks at that event,” Glenn said. “We take it very seriously, but we enjoy being close to home for the first event.”
Following Chattanooga, the Lady Vols get the opportunity to travel to Boston, Mass., for the prestigious Head of the Charles event, Oct. 20-21. The races in Boston provide UT with a chance to experience the excitement of the largest regatta in the world.
“It’s the one time all year that our athletes can have a small taste of what it might feel like to be a football player in Tennessee,” Glenn said. “You go to Boston and everybody knows about the Head of the Charles, the city nearly shuts down during the day. There are fans for three miles along the race course. Law firms and banks close for the day so that their employees can go and support the race. It’s a very special experience for our rowers to be at a place where rowing is valued so highly.”
The third race of the fall season takes Tennessee back to Chattanooga for the Head of the Chattahoochee regatta on Nov. 3. The event features both varsity and novice races and is another large race that garners plenty of attention.
“It’s a very good progression through the fall where we kind of work out the kinks in the first race and take the enthusiasm of a large event into our second race,” Glenn said. “We should be pushing our development a little further along by the time we go back to Chattanooga.”
The Lady Vols wrap up the 2007 fall campaign at the Rivanna Romp in Charlottesville, Va. on Nov. 11. Though the Romp is a smaller event, it brings out the best in the teams as one of the last races of the fall season.
“We finish out with a highly competitive race where the surroundings are a little quieter, but what’s happening on the water is pretty intense,” Glenn said.
With a full slate of head races to open the 2007-08 season, the Orange and White will be prepping for a tough 2008 schedule that includes races in Belmont, Calif. and Princeton, N.J. The Lady Vols will also benefit from winter and spring training camps to help groom the team for the Spring season.
“The fall schedule is specifically geared toward enhancing our training and that all comes to fruition in the spring,” Glenn said.