March 18, 2006
The Tiger rowing team played host to four schools on Saturday in the Clemson Challenge regatta, held on Lake Hartwell. Clemson finished first in the varsity 8+ and second varsity 8+ in the morning races, and second in the novice 8+ and fourth in the open 4+ event. In the afternoon, Clemson and Penn split victories in the varsity 8+ (Clemson) and second varsity 8+ (Penn), while Penn’s varsity 4+ defeated Clemson in that event.
“”The Varsity 8+ had a very solid performance this morning,” said Susie Lueck, head coach at Clemson. “They had a solid start and executed their race plan with confidence. They countered each of Indiana’s moves and never let them gain momentum. I was pleased that they went out and raced how we had prepared and intended to perform. We will use today’s results as a spring board into a week of intense spring break training as we prepare for the tough competition we will face from Southern California next weekend.”
The varsity 8+ got the morning off to a great start for the Tigers. By the 500m mark of their event, Clemson held a four-seat lead over Indiana and Penn. At 1000m, Clemson was six seats ahead of Indiana. The Tigers’ coxswain was nearly at the bow ball of the Hoosier crew by the 1500m mark. In the end, Clemson won despite a good sprint by Indiana. The Tigers finished in 6:46.9, their best time of the season. Making up that boat was Abbey Fernandez (coxswain), Jessie Leidecker, Lizzy Jennings, Suzanne Van Fleet, and Ford Heiner.
The second varsity 8+ race was Clemson’s most exciting this season. Penn jumped out to an early seven-seat lead and at 500m their coxswain was almost on the Tigers’ bow ball. By 1000m, those two crews enjoyed open water over the rest of the field. Clemson pulled nearly even at 1500m, and then pulled slightly ahead thanks to a strong sprint for a one-seat victory. The Tigers’ time was 7:03.3, while Penn clocked in at 7:04.0.
In the novice 8+, Clemson finished runner-up to Indiana. The Hoosiers enjoyed a four-seat lead on Clemson at 500m. By the next 500m, Indiana’s coxswain was on Clemson’s bow seat. At 1500m, the Hoosiers remained in the lead and pulled out to an open water win over the Tigers. Indiana finished in 7:06.1, while Clemson was runner-up at 7:10.7.
Penn won the open 4+ event after jumping out to an early lead. Penn was able to sustain about a three to four-seat lead the entirety of the race over Indiana’s varsity 4+. Clemson entered an open 4+ crew, who finished fourth overall in that race.
In the afternoon session, the varsity 8+ continued to shine by topping its earlier time at 6:46.2. They held off Penn’s hard-charging 8+, who finished slightly behind at 6:47.6. In that race, Penn stayed with Clemson at the start, never allowing the Tigers to gain more than a four-seat lead. After Penn moved to within two seats, Clemson put together another strong sprint to claim the victory.
In the second varsity 8+ race between the two schools, Penn had a seven-seat lead quickly. Clemson kept up well and actually improved on their morning time, but finished in 6:59.5, just under five seconds behind Penn. In the varsity 4+, Penn’s A crew was first in 7:45.4, while Clemson’s A crew came in at 7:56.9.
“The 2nd Varsity 8+ had solid racing against great competition,” said Kelly Lynch, assistant coach. “It gave us a good understanding of how far we have come and what we need to work on.”
The Tigers also had a boat dedication in between the morning and afternoon racing. The boat, named “A posse ad esse”, is derived from the Latin phrase meaning “from possibility to actuality.” It symbolizes the team’s accomplishments this season will be from its own desire.
Next weekend, the Tigers’ varsity 8+ and second varsity 8+ will travel to California to compete in the Port of Los Angeles against Southern Cal and Loyola Marymount. That regatta will start at 8:00 AM (Pacific Time). At home, the novice 8+ and varsity 4+ will take part in the Clemson Sprints, a Lake Hartwell regatta hosted by the Clemson Club Crew.
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