Lady Vols take top regatta spots

After the results were finalized, the Lady Vol rowing team saw they had swept the top four spots in the main varsity events completed during the 31st Head of the Tennessee Regatta, hosted by the Knoxville Rowing Association on the downtown Knoxville waterfront.

Two events the Big Orange were slated to race in were cancelled due to choppy conditions on Fort Loudon Lake that caused some of the single racers to swamp. Tennessee's Open Two and Championship Eight entries ended up holding intrasquad races instead.

In the events that counted in one of the oldest regattas in the Southeast, the Lady Vols racked up the medals. In the Championship Four, the three coxed entries finished in the top positions. Leading the way was senior Stephanie Davis' (Martin, Tenn.) crew of junior Krista Gearing (Fenwick, Ontario), senior Rachel Mayberry (Woodbridge, Va.), sophomore Caroline Howell (Davenport, Iowa) and junior Nina Dobratz (Portland, Ore.) with a time of 17:31.47.

Second place went to the crew of freshman coxswain Katie Ross (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), seniors Renee Brittle (Dublin, Va.) and Sarah Hutcheson (Orlando, Fla.) and juniors Kendra Warren (Franklin, Tenn.) and Jessica Ayers (Alpharetta, Ga.), who clocked a 17:45.75.

The group of sophomore coxswain Pam Harder (Mayette, N.J.), sophomores Kate Brownlee (North Gower,Ontario) and Alex Shishkov (Mississauga, Ontario), senior Heather Hill (Knoxville, Tenn.) and junior Mary Jones (Huntsville, Ala.) ranked third with a time of 18:00.66.

Two coxless fours competed as well for UT. The crew of junior Leah Smelser (Macon, Ga.), senior Kristen Galloway (Knoxville, Tenn.), junior Marisa Mohan (San Diego, Calif.) and senior Katie Payne (Parksville, British Columbia) came in fourth in the event in 18:11.29.

Tennessee's final entry finished 12th overall, as freshmen Mary Dreusike (Huntington Station, N.Y.) and Kate Snider (Ramona, Calif.), sophomore Danielle Hmielewski (Cookeville, Tenn.) and freshman Meg Hynd (Roswell, Ga.) crossed the finish line in 20:07.05.

The Championship Pairs saw the Lady Vol pair of sophomore Erin-Monique Shelton (Upper Hutt, New Zealand) and junior Genevieve Collins (Dallas, Texas) outpace the field by nearly two minutes, stopping the clock in 20:26.33 in first. The duo of Jones and Howell finished second in 22:16.96, with seniors Hill and Brittle placing third (24:56.38) and Brownlee and Smelser finishing fourth (25:04.92).

In the Championship Singles, Shelton, a Pocock/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) second-team All-American, finished first in 20:13.23, while Collins came in second in 21:03.67.

The Orange and White's Novice 8+ made their collegiate debuts, with the two crews placing second and third in the 14-team event.

The Lady Vols head south to Chattanooga for next weekend's Head of the Hooch Regatta, held on the Tennessee River on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 4-5.

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