Oct. 17, 2008
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee women's rowing team travels to its biggest event of the fall this weekend, making the trip to Boston, Mass., for the 44th annual Head of the Charles Regatta. This year marks the Lady Vols' eighth visit to the event.
In 2007 the Orange and White produced its best finish in program history at the Head of the Charles, taking fifth in the highly-competitive women's championship 8+ and taking the gold medal in the women's club 8+ race. UT's fifth-place showing placed it behind just two other collegiate squads, while the victory in the club 8+ gave the Lady Vols three consecutive first-place finishes in the event. Last year's regatta also saw Tennessee compete in the championship 4+ for the first time.
The Lady Vols return four of the nine members of last year's fifth-place C8+ shell in junior coxswain Katie Ross, seniors Erin-Monique Shelton and Kate Brownlee and sophomore Libuše Bruncvíkova'. Among the 38 teams participating in the 2008 edition of the championship 8+ event are the USRowing Training Center team, Brown, Stanford, Clemson, Yale and Princeton.
Tennessee will enter two shells in the event for the first time in program history and will not defend its three-straight gold medals in the club 8+. Junior coxswain Sydney Newman, sophomores Rachel Dooley, RuthAnne Waldrop and Melissa Toms, and juniors Stephanie Hunley and Laura Miller all return from last year's club 8+ gold medal squad, and should be key members of the two shells in the C8+.
As the world's largest two-day rowing event, the Head of the Charles features over 7,500 athletes from around the world. The regatta is comprised of 55 events and draws crowds of up to 300,000 spectators. Included in this year's field are shells from Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Michigan and Princeton, each of whom competed in last year's NCAA Championships.
Tennessee's only event at the 2008 Head of the Charles Regatta, the women's championship 8+, is set to begin at 4:23 p.m. on Sunday. Live results will be available throughout the weekend at utladyvols.com.