Florida Tech Wins Repechage In Women’s Rowing, Earns Spot In Grand Final At NCAA Championships

By  //  May 27, 2017

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advance to Sunday's V8 Grand Final

No. 6 Florida Tech earned the victory in the Varsity 8 Repechage on Saturday to advance to Sunday’s V8 Grand Final at the NCAA Division II Championships on Lake Mercer. (FIT Image)

MERCER, NEW JERSEY – No. 6 Florida Tech earned the victory in the Varsity 8 Repechage on Saturday to advance to Sunday’s V8 Grand Final at the NCAA Division II Championships on Lake Mercer.

Looking sharp at the start, the Panthers V8 started rowing a little higher than the other crews did, as they rowed 43 strokes per minute before the 250-meter mark.

Becoming more relaxed, the Melbourne-based crew of Natalia Arasa Bonavila, Federica Pala, Taylor Stoni, Graysen Pensch, Theresa Gadilhe, Samantha Martinez, Morgan Billig, Irina Djurovic, and Aurelia Gervasi brought their stroke rate down to 37 and a half strokes as they took the lead.

Currently ahead a deck link on Mercyhurst (1:39.728), the Panthers (1:38.648) once again dropped their rate to 36 per minute headed into the 500-meter mark.

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All within close margins, and the Lakers now three seats behind FIT, Mercyhurst increased its stroke rate to 37 and a half strokes to decrease the chase by an additional seat as the crews crossed the 1000-meter point.

Staying long and strong, the Panthers shell maintained its base speed with 1200 meters left, and increased their lead to half a boat length over the second place battling crews of Barry and Mercyhurst.

Jumping to and early push past the 1500 meter point, Barry tried to decrease the length lead on FIT, but the Panthers continued their smooth rhythm with very clean catches and finishes to stay safely out front.

The Crimson and Gray crossed the finish line in first place, 1.29 seconds ahead of Mercyhurst for a course time of 6:49.01. With the win, the crew clinched its spot in Sunday’s V8 Grand Final.

Adam Thorstad

“In the heat on Friday they rowed a great race in tough conditions but we knew that we needed to clean up a bit for the racing as we progressed,” said head coach Adam Thorstad.

“In the rep today, the ladies definitely put a much more technical race out there. Tomorrow in the final they’ll need to work on combining the two performances together, row a technically sound race with guts and determination.”

Florida Tech will square off against Central Oklahoma, Mercyhurst and Western Washington in Sunday’s DII Grand Final.

The title race is set to begin at 9:48 a.m. ET on Lake Mercer.

Fans can access links to live coverage at FloridaTechSports.com or watch live at http://www.ncaa.com/live/player?vid=2017/3207


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