Oct. 21, 2011
Every Lady Vol on the Tennessee rowing team dreams of the day she competes at the Head of the Charles Regatta, and many have that chance Saturday.
UT travels to Boston for the world's largest annual two-day regatta on the Charles River. More than 600 universities and rowing clubs are expected to participate this year, representing more than 60 countries.
"Every day this week has been really exciting," head coach Lisa Glenn said. "Everyone is really excited and we're ready to race. A lot of people notice Tennessee when we're there--not just because of the Orange but because we're hopefully doing things well and we set a good example."
Competing at the Head of the Charles is a high-visibility event for any participating team, as the entire race course is lined by thousands of spectators.
"I compare it to a football game day," Glenn said. "We are going to an event where the whole city knows what's happening. Businesses shut down, employees go to the shoreline and there is cheering for the entire three miles. It's the kind of fanfare and excitement that football players enjoy on Saturdays."
For junior Andrea Keesecker, the opportunity is highly appreciated. This is the Johnson City, Tenn., native's first trip to Boston.
"I've always wanted to have this opportunity," Keesecker said. "There will be some tough competition there. We are going to take this seriously and we'll show up when we're there. We've been doing a lot to prepare for this and I'm ready for it to pay off."
The challenge awaiting the Lady Vols is no slouch. With all the perennial NCAA rowing powers present, Glenn is excited about the opportunity that is presented.
"There is a huge opportunity for us to race hard and see where we stack up," Glenn said. "There will be a lot of fast exciting racing and we can't take anything for granted."
For more information on the Head of the Charles Regatta, including a live results and a live webcast of the event, visit www.hocr.com. The Lady Vols travel with two varsity eights and compete on both Saturday and Sunday. An alumni eight will also compete Saturday.