Panthers’ Women Rowers Open Fall Season

By  //  October 14, 2012

Alumni Race Set For Nov. 3

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech opened its fall rowing season Saturday by participating in the First Coast Head Race with the University of Central Florida UCF, Jacksonville, Nova Southeastern and Stetson on the St. Johns and Arlington Rivers.

Junior Emlyn MacKenzie was Florida Tech’s coxswain in its opening women’s rowing event Saturday at the First Coast Head Race in Jacksonville. (Image courtesy Florida Tech)

The Panthers competed in the women’s championship eight, women’s championship four and novice four.

“This race helps us prepare for the spring season,” Panthers head coach Adam Thorstad said. “We had some good learning lessons today on a challenging course. We can’t control the conditions or what’s going on around us. We handled [the race] pretty well. We made some mistakes in the championship eight. A few hours later, we had four from the championship eight race. I could tell they learned from their mistakes and capitalized on them. In our last race, I was pretty excited with how the novice four performed against good competition.”

In FIT’s first race of the day, the women’s championship eight, the Panthers’ recorded the fourth-best time on the 4.8K course at 21:23.76. Nova Southeastern’s A boat was the fastest at 20:04.93 and its B boat finished four seconds behind at 20:08.72. Placing third was Jacksonville’s A boat at 20:31.47. Rounding out the field was Jacksonville B, which finished fifth, and Stetson, which placed sixth.

Racing for the Crimson and Gray in their opening event was coxswain Emlyn MacKenzie, stroke Natalie Miller, Amanda Horbert, Anastasia Stodolski, Taylor Troy, Taylor Woodard, Dani Speegle, Taylor Barvais and bow Caitlyn Wood.

Four hours later, Horbert, Stodolski, Troy and Woodard joined coxswain Samantha McCuskey for the women’s championship four. FIT ended the race with the third-best time out of seven participants at 23:31.33. Nova Southeastern’s A boat was the fastest at 21:48.86.

In their final race of the day, the Panthers’ novice four consisting of Jordan Ursch at the stroke seat, Miller, Speegle and Hannah Santa Lucia at the bow seat recorded the third-best time at 25:31.95. Jacksonville was the fastest at 24:38.75 followed by Nova Southeastern at 25:18.26. The event was designated as one of the Row for the Cure events where 25 percent of the proceeds benefit the local Northeast Florida Susan G. Komen affiliate.

FIT will host its annual Alumni Race during Homecoming weekend on Nov. 3 at its boathouse. It will officially return to action Nov. 10 at the Florida Intercollegiate Rowing Association Fall Classic at Canal 54 in Fellsmere.

“We’re going to race in about one month from now at the FIRA Fall Classic,” Thorstad said. “We’re going to see some of the same schools. I’m looking forward to seeing how we do against them in a few weeks.”