No. 2 Virginia Rowing Opens 2008 Season Friday Vs. Bucknell

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
CHARLOTTESVILLE Virginia hosts Bucknell to open its 2008 season 5 p.m. Friday at the Rivanna Reservoir. The Cavaliers, a perennial contender for the national championship, finished second at last year’s NCAA Championships and open the year with high goals for the spring campaign.

Virginia is ranked No. 2 in the US Rowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association NCAA Division I Varsity Eight Coaches Poll, released earlier this week. The Cavaliers received two first-place votes, while Yale topped the poll.

UVa finished a strong fall season preparing for the spring with five first-place finishes at its own Rivanna Romp. The regatta included teams from Georgetown, Miami, Ohio State, Tennessee and Texas and the Cavaliers “A” boat won the first event of the day, the women’s varsity eight.

The boat, made up of Caitlin Mixter (coxswain), Jennifer Cromwell, Katrin Sydlik, Lauren Hutchins, Augusta Stratos, Andria Haneman, Amanda Chase, Desiree Burns and Rebecca Ryall finished in first place with a time of 13:21.62.

Mixter, Cromwell, Sydlik, Hutchins and Stratos return from last year’s varsity eight boat that finished fifth in the nation at the NCAA Championships. The reigning national champion varsity four boat, meanwhile, included Ryall and Chase.

Mixter returns as an All-ACC and All-South Region honoree from a year ago, after directing the 2007 ACC Crew of the Year (Varsity Eight). Cromwell, meanwhile, was the conference’s Freshman of the Year and head coach Kevin Sauer earned ACC and South Region Coach of the Year honors.

Bucknell, picked to win the Patriot League, heads to Charlottesville for its first competition of the season after a scrimmage against Boston College. The Bison return All-Patriot League veterans Katherine Brewster-Duffy, Whittney Henry and Jeweliet Yost. Brewster-Duffy was also a CRCA All-America selection, while Henry and Yost were named CRCA All-Region last year.