April 12, 2009
BELLEVILLE, Mich. - The University of Louisville rowing team's 20th-ranked varsity eight crew capped Saturday's racing on Belleville Lake by defeating No. 9 ranked Wisconsin by more than five seconds and earning a close second-place finish to No. 4 Michigan.
The Cards' varsity eight crew of coxswain Ashley Edwardson, Anastasia Prokopenko, Sam Kayser, Mallory Hamman, Kristin Falovo, Sarah Fiske, Liz Van Zeyl, Katie Rorer and Allison Pelette closed the day with a time of 6 minutes, 43.30 seconds across the 2,000-meter course to defeat the No. 9 Badgers at 6:48.32, while the No. 4 Wolverines led the way at 6:40.25.
"It was an impressive race to watch and I was really pleased with how well they executed every segment of the race," said Louisville head coach Laura Fogt. "The boat responded really well because they were long, controlled and tight with their blade work. This was a great turn-around from the morning race, where we rowed short and heavy, which was very uncharacteristic of this crew.
"This weekend we learned that speed can go out of a boat as quickly as in can come in the boat and that when you're racing crews like the ones this weekend, there is absolutely no room for error."
According to Fogt, the Cards' varsity eight boat looked solid from the first stroke and came off the line well but trailed by about four seats to Michigan and Wisconsin coming through the 500-meter mark. As Wisconsin tried to make a move back into Michigan, the Cardinals slowly inched back into both crews, pulling even with Wisconsin just before the 1000-meter mark. Moving through the 1000-meter mark, Louisville continued to gain seats on Wisconsin and started to move into Michigan. The Wolverines had a good push, which Louisville couldn't hold through the 1,500-meter mark and they were able to get their stern deck on the Cardinals' bow ball in the last 150 meters of the race.
"In the second varsity eight's morning race, we had a much better first half of the race and got off the line the best I've seen us all year," Fogt said. "Michigan was about five or six seats up on our boat and we were two or three seats ahead of Iowa going through the 500-meter mark.
"Iowa was very responsive and had a big surge at about the 800-meter mark where they started to move on us and we did not check their momentum. We opened the door for them and they capitalized on the opportunity; a mistake you cannot afford to make at a critical time in the race. We fought the rest of the way down the course, stroke for stroke with Iowa, and it came down to literally the last stroke, with Iowa edging up in front to take second place."
In other morning races, the Cardinals finished third in the varsity four race with a time of 8:20.90 to trail Michigan (7:55.60) and Iowa (8:11.75), fourth in the second varsity four race with a time of 8:15.41 to trail Michigan B (7:56.09), Michigan A (7:59.94) and Iowa (7:58.49) and third in the novice eight race with a time of 8:33.38 to finish behind Michigan (7:07.79) and Iowa (7:16.59).
In the other afternoon races, Louisville finished third in the varsity four race with a time of 8:23.74 to trail Michigan (7:42.16) and Wisconsin (7:51.14), third in the second varsity four race with a time of 7:57.22 to finish behind Wisconsin (7:34.16) and Michigan (7:46.82) and third in the novice eight race with a time of 8:07.79 to trail Michigan (6:47.48) and Wisconsin (7:08.01).
Up next, the Cardinals will travel to Oak Ridge, Tenn., for the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships.