UVa Set To Defend Title At South/Central Regionals

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
CHARLOTTESVILLE The 11th-ranked Virginia rowing team travels to Oak Ridge, Tenn., for South/Central Regionals this weekend. Competition from Melton Lake begins Saturday, May 16, at 9 a.m., with heats and semifinals and concludes Sunday, May 17, with the finals.

Virginia has won the South Region five times in the last six years (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008) and the South/Central team championship four times in the last five seasons (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008.)

Last year in Oak Ridge, Virginia finished with 407 points, including a victory in the Varsity Eight, to capture the overall and regional championship. In 2007, Virginia became the first team in the regional’s history to win every race preliminary, semifinal and final. UVa captured the overall title with 440 points, and got victories in the Varsity Eight, Second Varsity Eight, Varsity Four, Open Four and Novice Eight.

In its last outing, Virginia’s Varsity Eight defeated then-No. 11 USC and then-No. 16 Harvard on April 25 in Boston, Mass. In a thrilling finish, the Cavaliers rallied from a boat length down to best the Trojans by nearly one second and the third-place Crimson by four seconds. The crew of coxswain Sidney Thorsten, Jennifer Cromwell, Amanda Chase, Lauren Hutchins, Augusta Stratos, Desiree Burns, Bridget Fowler, Lauren Shook and Victoria Burke was honored with ACC Crew of the Week accolades (April 28).

The last time Virginia competed at Melton Lake was earlier this year at the 2009 ACC Championships (April 20). In that competition, UVa was edged for the team title by Clemson. The Tigers won the Varsity Eight and Varsity Four races, while Virginia claimed the Second Varsity Eight and Novice Eight races.

Second Varsity Eight crew member Martha Kuzzy was named the ACC’s Rookie of the Year, while Chase, Fowler and Stratos earned All-ACC honors.

Looking ahead, the teams earning a berth to the 2009 NCAA Rowing Championships, held May 29-31 in Camden, N.J., will be announced on Tuesday, May 19 at 5 p.m.