Florida Tech Takes Second in Heat B of the 2017 NCAA DII Women’s Rowing Championships

By  //  May 27, 2017

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tepping up to the Championship level as a new crew this year, No. 6 Florida Tech made itself known after taking second place, while challenging the Central Oklahoma crew in Heat B of the 2017 NCAA DII Women’s Rowing Championships. (FIT Image)

MERCER, NEW JERSEY – Stepping up to the Championship level as a new crew this year, No. 6 Florida Tech made itself known after taking second place, while challenging the Central Oklahoma crew in Heat B of the 2017 NCAA DII Women’s Rowing Championships.

During the championships, Heat B turned out to be quite an interesting race, as each he crew looked nice and clean from the start. Coming out strong, each shell showed no early advantage short of the 250-meter mark during the race.

After a seamless start, a call from the Panthers coxswain was made to shift the crew’s base speed during a tight race. At the 250 mark, the Panthers just sat barely ahead of Central Oklahoma, who stayed just in front of UC San Diego.

Trying not to partake in the overwhelming excitement, the Panthers shell continued to find their pace, expending the right amount of energy at their aerobic threshold to maintain their position.

Rowing about 36 strokes per minute at 500 meters into the race, it continued to be all Florida Tech, as the Melbourne-based crew stayed a couple feet ahead of Central Oklahoma, while UC San Diego found the pace hard to keep up with and fell three-quarters of a length behind.

The sixth ranked Panthers looked to consolidate and extend their lead, as they pushed a deck link ahead of Central Oklahoma. However, the Broncos made an early move before the 1000-meter mark that reversed their position to first place for the first time in the race.

Continuing the base speed, the UCO crew pushed three seats ahead of FIT going 600 meters on, while UC San Diego was left a boat link behind. Heading into the 1000-meter mark, UC San Diego’s five seat lost the oar, dropping the crew into open water behind the Broncos and Panthers.

Entering the final sprint of the regatta, Central Oklahoma took a three-quarter of a length lead over FIT. Fighting, Florida Tech took a quarter length off its chase, to half a length, in the final 750 meters.

Battling back and forth, the shell of Natalia Arasa Bonavila, Morgan Billig, Graysen Pensch, Samantha Martinez, Theresa Gadilhe, Taylor Stoni, Irina Djurovic, Aurelia Gervasi, and Federica Pala took an additional three seats back before the Broncos responded and pushed ahead once more.

Showing a strong finish through the spectator area, with Florida Tech on a tear for the top spot at 36 strokes a minute, the Oklahoma-based crew would not relinquish its lead in the final hundred meters of the race.

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“The ladies rowed well today for the conditions, but they need to sharpen up a little more for tomorrow.”

“I know they are extremely capable of making the necessary technical changes,” said head coach Adam Thorstad.

The Panthers crossed the finish line in second, just 1.51 seconds behind UCO, with a course time of 6:42.26.

The Varsity Eight will now race Saturday in the repechage starting at 10:36 a.m. The winner will advance to the Grand Final on Sunday at 9:48 a.m.

For more information, please visit FloridaTechSports.com or follow live at http://www.ncaa.com/live/player?vid=2017/3207


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