By Madison Thompson–
In their first event of 2017, the women’s rowing team hosted the Cardinal Invite at Melton Lake in Oak Ridge, Tennessee March 11 and 12. Both varsity and novice rowers competed against Clemson, Kansas, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Tulsa, Virginia and West Virginia.
Kicking off the regatta, the varsity eight placed second in their first race, clocking their 2K at 6:38.25. The varsity four also scored second, clocking their 2K at 7:24. The second varsity eight, second varsity four and third varsity four placed second, third, and fourth in the 2K in their heats.
The novice eight placed first with a time of 7:19 against Kansas State University. In the afternoon races, Louisville faced Virginia State University and scored second and third. The third varsity four placed first in the team’s final race on March 11.
“I think we did pretty solid, had a pretty good go. (We) had a good result in the 3v8 and the v4 in particular,” assistant coach Ed Oxlade said. “I’m sure we’ll unlock a little bit more speed (on day two).”
On the second day of the invitation, the Cardinals secured four wins in their six races. Louisville finished second in the other two.
In U of L’s first win of the day, the Cardinal crew of Annie Paper (coxswain), Sarah Podwojski, Kirsti Harrison, Lucie Heranova, Abbi Fitts, Sally Rozumalski, Allison Zimmermann, Claire Bahain and Rebecca Busk recorded a time of 6:25.063, beating Tulsa by more than two seconds.
In varsity four of Kim Streetz (coxswain), Samantha Stoll, Maddy Staubitz, Mackenzie Garland and Emma Ison crossed the line with a 7:09.983 time for Louisville’s second win.
Louisville’s second varsity eight, a time of 6:32.165, and varsity four, a time of 7:21.318, added U of L’s third and fourth wins. The second varsity eight beat second-place Notre Dame by more than five seconds while the second varsity four blew by second-place Tulsa by 21 seconds.
Coach Derek Copeland understands this game isn’t all about winning or losing, but understanding the moment.
“Well, look at your daughter’s face and see if she’s happy, you can be happy and lose,” Copeland said.
Organizer of the Cardinal Invitational and volunteer coach Jami Montesano said she likes where the team is at.
“(I’m) feeling very great now that (the event) finally happened … I think it was really successful and really proud of our team,” Montesano said. “We’ll continue to gain speed.”
Photo by Madison Thompson / The Louisville Cardinal