The women’s rowing team traveled to New Jersey to compete in the Knecht Cup, a regatta that offers competition for 70 schools from around the country. Tulsa was able to put together six strong races on Saturday before the weather forced races to be suspended until Sunday.
Jules Soper, Sarah Palilionis, Elizabeth McCabe, Anna McHenry and Eva Trabucco, who make up the Varsity 4+ team, finished in fourth place in both their initial Heat race — beating conference foe UConn in the process — and their semifinal race, pushing them into the Petite Finals on Sunday. The 2nd Varsity 4+ team — made up by Lauren Turner, Chaselyn Ruffaner-Hanson, Alexandra Griffith, Adrianna Catalanotto and Elizabeth Natho — finished second in the Heat, with a nine-second faster time than UConn, and fifth in their semifinal, earning them a spot in the Petite Final.
In this particular regatta, each event has two or three different finals. The top teams participate in the Grand Finals, the next groups participate in the Petite Finals and if the event is large enough, the Third Final for the two who do not qualify for the Petite Final.
Head Coach Kevin Harris talked about the Fours, “In general the team handled the conditions pretty well. I don’t think we raced the Varsity 4+ as well as we could have in the Heat, but they had a much better race in the Semifinal. I am excited about how our Fours performed today, but we will have to compete harder for a win in the Petite Finals tomorrow.”
On the Eights side, Tulsa’s Varsity 8+ team — composed of Maria Gearing, Hannah Vissers, Lauren Vander Hoeven, Ashley Lane, Hannah Emnett, Sam Tober, Emily Farrar, Jennifer Casson and Marcia Vidaurri — finished with the top time in their Heat, with an eleven-second finish over runner-up North Carolina. The 2nd Varsity 8+ team — composed of Colleen Giesbrecht, Janelle Payne, Kristy Covre, Jerusha Blankenship, Madeline Lyons, Skylar Luttjehuizen, Sarah Ringler, Phoebe Mulligan and Sam Barber — finished second in their Heat to Massachusetts.
Both of the teams qualified for the semifinals, but weather pushed those races to Sunday as well. Harris said about the Eights, “The 2nd Varsity 8+ had a solid heat and rowed well considering this is the first time we’ve put these lineups together. They had good competition with North Carolina and were able to finish second, while the Varsity 8+ executed their race plan and were able to establish a rhythm down the course. I am excited to see how both Eights do in the semifinals tomorrow against very good competition.”
On Sunday morning, both the Varsity 8+ and 2nd Varsity 8+ finished first in their semifinal races, coincidentally over Boston College in both races, and qualified for the Grand Final in the process.
The Lightweight 8+ team—composed of Emalia Seto, Abigail Elggren, Annie Martin, Madeline Oleksiak, Julia Herrel, Audrey Brown, Lindsay Crute, Jessica Burke and Betsy Govig—did not compete on Saturday due to weather and got pushed instead to Sunday. In their race they finished in fourth place behind Stanford, Wisconsin and Radcliffe and earn a spot in the Petite Final.
In their final event of the Regatta, the Petite Final, the 2nd Varsity 4+ took first, once again beating UConn, this time by 2.79 seconds. The 7:55.60 time was their fastest time of the weekend. The Varsity 4+ finished sixth in their Petite Final behind Army, Bucknell, Miami (A & B) and Temple. It was also their fastest time of the time in the regatta.
The Lightweight 8+ finished fourth in the Petite Final behind Stanford, Boston University and MIT.
In the 2nd Varsity 8+ Grand Final, Tulsa finished sixth behind Massachusetts, Kansas, Boston College, Wisconsin LWT and Connecticut.
In the final race of the day, the Varsity 8+ Grand Final, Tulsa finished with the win, beating Boston College by two and a half seconds. The win gave Tulsa their best finish of the day, and strong finish in the regatta.