Nov. 5, 2011
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -
The University of Louisville rowing team opened the two-day Head of the Hooch Regatta with a pair of top five finishes on Saturday.
The Cardinals earned second- and 12th-place finishes in the Championship 4+ event, fifth- and 17th-place finishes in the Championship 8+ event and 12th- and 28th-place finishes in the Novice 8+ event.
The afternoon began for the Cardinals with the Championship 8+ event, one of the featured events of the weekend. Louisville's "A" entry featuring the crew of Ellen Fawcett (coxswain), Morgan Dunham, Katya Monchenko, Marissa Thalen, Amy Van Syoc, Lizzie DeVries, Kathleen O'Connell, Jami Montesano and Hannah Ritter covered the 5,000-meter course on the Tennessee River with a time of 16 minutes, 28.9 seconds. Tennessee earned the win in the field of 26 crews with a time of 16:04.2, while Texas was second at 16:04.4. The Cardinals' "B" entry featuring Andrea Zorn (coxswain), Sam Sinnett, Chelsea Haack, Lauren Proctor-Brown, Shelby Stafford, Paula Gollnick, Kayla Kroninger, Mallorie Campbell and Kelly O'Conor was 17th with a time of 17:10.0.
"Overall, both boats came off the water feeling very positive about their races, yet knowing there are still areas for improvement," said Louisville head coach Laura Aubrey
. "We were able to get some good feedback from the Head of the Charles and the things we needed to work on certainly improved our speed this weekend. If we continue to work with the same diligence, focus and determination, we can expect to see continued growth in our results from all boats."
The Cardinals continued day one of the regatta with an impressive second-place finish in the Championship 4+ event as the crew of Fawcett (coxswain), Dunham, Monchenko, Thalen and Ritter had a time of 17:51.1 to trail first-place Tennessee (17:50.5) by less than a second. Louisville's "B" entry in the event featuring the crew of Amelia Motsch (coxswain), O'Connell, Stafford, Proctor-Brown and Montesano was 12th in the field of 28 with a time of 18:42.1.
"The varsity four had a great race and really put together a strong performance," Aubrey said. "I am very happy for them and very proud of them. They went out there and put all the pieces of the puzzle together and came off the water feeling very good. The second varsity four felt solid, but they had a difficult time establishing a rhythm that allowed them to just get after it and crank on it. They were able to take some valuable things from the experience and will look to work on that over the next few months."
In the Novice 8+ event, the Cardinals' "A" entry featuring Alison Jenkins (coxswain), Alexis Speliotis, Maleena Hackbarth, Morgan Engelmeyer, Kara Savegnago, Liz Neihaus, Talia Imam, Mallory Neimer and Morgan Dubuc earned a 12th-place finish with a time of 18:58.4, while Duke led the way in the field of 49 with a time of 17:16.2. Louisville's "B" entry of Brianna Newman (coxswain), Sophie Knight, Cecy Linzey, Becca Schilling, Brittany Fryer, Anna Neikirk, Katie Metzger, Danielle Backes and Taylor Coyle was 28th overall with a time of 20:16.2.
"I am extremely proud of the effort that the novice team put forth today," said Cardinals' novice team coach Becky Smith. "They are a great group of ladies who I feel blessed to have the opportunity to teach about the sport of rowing. They should be very proud of their first race at their first ever regatta. The novice group will also race in tomorrow's Open 8+ event and I am excited to see their improvements since they now know what it is like to race."
Louisville will conclude the Head of the Hooch Regatta on Sunday with entries in the Open 2- and the Open 8+ events. The Head of the Hooch will conclude the Cardinals' fall racing schedule.