Florida Tech Earns Two Second-Place Finishes in Women’s Rowing Championships

By  //  April 4, 2016

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Weather Forces Early End to FIRA Event

The junior varsity eight had the second-fastest time by just 1.72 seconds in its race at the FIRA Championships on Saturday. (Amanda Stratford Photography Image)

SARASOTA, FLORIDA – Florida Tech posted a pair of runner-up finishes before weather canceled the remaining races on the final day of the Florida Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships on Saturday at Nathan Benderson Park.

Before Mother Nature made her presence known, the Panthers’ Division II four of stroke Shaula Rey, Natalie Miller, Emily Hall, bow Morgan Billig and coxswain Kayleigh Painter placed second at 7:40.14. Barry University took first at 7:26.55. Nova Southeastern was third followed by a second FIT boat that finished at 7:52.72. The Panthers “B” boat included stroke Molly Kingston, Jessica Weatherman, Suzanne Beims, bow Alex Coultrup and coxswain Prerona Dewan. Central Oklahoma finished fifth and a second Barry boat rounded out the six-team race.

FIT also recorded the second-best time in the junior varsity eight. Central Oklahoma just beat the Panthers by 1.72 seconds for first place at 6:59.80. Stetson was third and Nova Southeastern grabbed fourth. Racing for the Crimson and Gray were Coultrup in the stroke seat, Rey, Miller, Beims, Weatherman, Hall, Billig, Kingston in the bow seat and Painter as the coxswain.

The women’s varsity eight was the third race to go off on Saturday. As it turned out, the top four crews finished the way they were seeded with Barry coming in first place at 6:37.32. The Buccaneers held off Central Oklahoma by a mere 84-hundredths of a second. Nova Southeastern was third at 6:43.59 and the Panthers were fourth at 6:49.52. Stetson, Georgia Tech, Rollins and Florida were fifth through eighth, respectively. Stroke Aurelia Gervasi, Michaela Allen, Jordan Ursch, Taylor Troy, Sam Martinez, Paige McGroarty, Tania Kilcullen, bow Federica Pala and coxswain Hana Ito raced for FIT.

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After qualifying for the pair finals on Friday, Katie Coughlan and Kayla Magee registered the sixth-fastest time of 9:30.69. Georgia Tech won the race at 8:19.03 followed by Rollins, Stetson, Nova Southeastern and a second Rollins crew.

“We were happy with both crews advancing yesterday to the finals,” head coach Adam Thorstad said. “The varsity four that raced yesterday was half of our varsity eight. They had a pretty good row and were excited to have another opportunity to work on some stuff for our remaining races. They were disappointed they couldn’t race today. The pair didn’t have a solid row (Saturday). They have a little more work to do and a little more to clean up as we move forward.

“We thought we could finish between first and fourth in the varsity eight. Unfortunately, we finished on the back end of that sequence. We’ll keep making strides, look to get faster and look to close the gap. Our junior varsity eight had a really good race. Our first varsity four had a good performance as well as our second four. We’re disappointed we didn’t finish racing, but sometimes the weather can be a bear.”

The Panthers will wrap up five straight weeks of racing with the Knecht Cup, scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday in West Windsor, New Jersey.