Oct. 17, 2004
CLEMSON, SC – The seniors defended their Class Day title by winning the class day race to highlight the seventh annual Class Day Regatta on Lake Hartwell Sunday morning. The seniors’ win marked the third victory by a senior class in the seven years of Class Day races. The event featured the second year with a Tiger alumni race as well as a freshmen / novice race. In keeping with Class Day tradition, each team dressed up in a different costume.
“It was an exciting day to be a part of Clemson rowing,” said Head Coach Susie Lueck. “The sunshine and flat water, combined with great parental support and a festive atmosphere, led to hot competition.” Clemson Rowing were hosts for their Parent’s and Alumni Weekend for Homecoming.
The event kicked off with a 2,000-meter Freshmen / Novice race in 4+s. The rowers were participating in their first sprint race as Tigers. The race was led from start to finish by the “Ninja Turtles” rowed by Krista Gregan, Tami Mayer, Kate Dublin, Summer Thompson and coxed by Liz Giannini. The Ninja Turtles finished with a decisive 17.6 second margin in a time of 8:02.6. The real race was for second place which was battled out over the length of the course between the “Teletubbies” and the “Jackson Five”. The Teletubbies consisting of Sara Kolodzaike, Lindsay Sheppard, Katie Young and Suzanne Brackin, coxed by Abbey Fernandez finished ahead with a time of 8:20.2 earning second place. The “Jackson Five” made up of Ford Heiner, Vernita Boone, Meghan Mulholland, Emily Lynch and coxswain Laura Dunbar finished third in 8:24.1. The Tri-Row Sorority pledged by Katie Kraintz, Kat Clayton, Blair Brendle, Mary Kate Peer and coxswain Kristen Karfgin rounded out the field in fourth place with a time of 8:43.0.
Returning to the water for some friendly competition were former Tiger rowers dressed as Sumo wrestlers, complete with larger than life Blow up suits on their coxswains. The winning wrestlers were Gail Cadorniga (’01), Marianne Grant (’04), Carrie Sinnott (’04), Megan McGuirt (’02), Sally Kukla (’04), Farrell Finstad (’02; Clemson assistant coach), Katrina Cobb (’04), as well as current rowers Mary Wilson, and Laura Nichols with a time of 3:34 over the shortened 1,000 meter course. Lisa Christopher (’02), Lizzie Noll (’04), Kathy Sickinger (’03), Kat Sloan (’02), Lisa Mischley (’02), Ann Sullivan (’04), and current rowers Chelsea Kautz, Julia Fishel, and Jaime Horgan finished second with a time of 3:40.
“Having two boats of alumni come back for the weekend and participate in the racing speaks volumes of the loyalty from our graduates,” said Lueck.
The regatta’s main event, the 2,000-meter class day race, concluded the action. Participating in the race were the seniors, dressed as Susie’s Worst Nightmare (all in pink); the juniors, as the characters from “Saved By The Bell”; and the sophomores’ Grease Lightening who were dressed as T-Birds and Pink Ladies.
The seniors took a convincing lead early in the race but the sophomores battled back from a two and a half boat length deficit to finish bow to stern down on the victorious seniors who defended their Class Day title. The seniors (Mary Nell Green, Ashlee Brown, Jen Wortman, Robin Mescher, Katie Bero, Jenny Champa, Jenn Stokes and Lizzy Jennings) finished with a time of 6:54.7. The sophomores (Liz Yost, Liz Averyt, Barbi Breimann, Sarah Cooper, Brittney Gamble, Margaret Gattis, Allison Spiker, Jayme VanErden, Sarah Broeker) finished second with a time of 6:59.5. Placing third with a time of 7:18.9 were the juniors (Meghan McCleskey, Catie Harris, Jaclyn Rath, Elizabeth Weichel, Kristen Weinacker, Kathryn Wait, Krista Gregan, Suzanne VanFleet, Sierra Wait)
“The racing was competitive and it was good to see fast boats and fast times,” said Lueck. “The commitment and strength of the varsity was evident in the competition. I was very impressed with the freshmen who rowed outstanding in the fours race. The future is bright for the Tigers.”
The Tigers return to action on Sunday in the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, MA.
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