Nov. 5, 2012
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The Louisville women's rowing team earned a first-place finish in the Open 8+ event and a runner-up result in the Open 2- event at the Head of the Hooch regatta on Sunday.
"This was a great day for this team and all of its supporters," said Louisville head coach Derek Copeland. "This team has been extremely positive in taking on each challenge. I'm happy that they had this experience and that they were able to earn the win."
The Cardinals' top crew finished with a time of 16:28.3 across the 5,000-meter course on the Tennessee River through downtown Chattanooga to defeat a field of 42 other boats in the Open 8+ event. It marked Louisville's first ever Open 8+ win at the Head of the Hooch. The University of Miami was second to the Cardinals with a time of 16:48.8, while Alabama was third at 17:11.0. Louisville also had four other crews in the Open 8+ event finishing in 14th (17:40.1), 22nd (18:10.7), 31st (19:02.5) and 38th (20:26.4).
"Our goal in the Open 8+ was to have our best finish ever and we did that," said Copeland. "Two of the five boats in the Open 8+ were novice rowers and it was really great to see them at their first rowing event. The varsity squad is excited about the boost the novice rowers will provide as we set our sights on the BIG EAST title. Watching the novice rowers grow is one of the most rewarding parts of the sport."
In the Open 2- event, the Cardinals' top crew had a time of 20:12.9 to finish second in a field of 44, while Duke led the way at 19:26.3. The finish for U of L was its best in a pairs event at the Head of the Hooch was ninth in 2011. Louisville's second crew in Sunday's event also finished strong earning a fourth-place finish with a time of 20:28.3, less than 10 seconds behind third-place Oklahoma (20:19.8).
"I think that race was a great indicator of our speed because there were a lot of really fast boats in that event," Copeland said. "We had the two highest finishing boats from one school and it was a good performance for us."
Also racing on Sunday at the Head of the Hooch was senior coxswain Amelia Motsch
, who finished 16th in the Lightweight 1x event with a time of 24:22.2.
"This race was something Amelia has wanted to do and was looking forward to doing for a long time," said Copeland. "As a coxswain, she rarely gets the chance to do the rowing in a boat, so we were really happy to give her the opportunity to do that this week."