Lady Vols third overall at Aramark

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Finishing what the team started with Saturday's fine performances, the Lady Vols took home a third-place overall finish, their highest in history, and a runner-up showing in the South Region at the 2007 Aramark Central/South Region Sprints.

After advancing crews into four of the five grand finals, Tennessee knew it had to capitalize on the great position that the team had put itself in on Saturday. The Open 4+ kicked the scoring off, taking fifth in its race. The crew of sophomore coxswain Pam Harder, freshman Brittany Sehring, senior Katrina von Peters, junior Danielle Hmielewski and senior Katie Payne defeated Michigan by three-quarters of a length while finishing 1.83 seconds in back of fourth-place Louisville.

Next up, the top Novice 8+ shell tried to move in the petite final, but they came in 5.4 seconds in back of fifth-place Iowa to rank sixth. Their teammates in the second Novice 8+ boat finished fifth in the "C" final earlier that morning.

In the Varsity 4+ event, UT freshman coxswain Roshauna Singh guided her crew of junior Marisa Mohan, senior Heather Hill, freshman Erin Gray and senior Kristen Galloway to a fifth-place showing after getting edged out at the line by Minnesota. The Golden Gophers pushed across the finish .77 seconds in front of the Lady Vols, who had a length lead on sixth-place Notre Dame.

The Second Varsity 8+ group of freshman coxswain Katie Ross, freshman Mary Beth Dreusike, sophomores Caroline Howell, Alex Shishkov and Kate Brownlee, junior Leah Smelser, freshman Kate Snider and juniors Kendra Warren and Genevieve Collins worked hard in a fifth-place showing. The crew missed a fourth-place finish above Michigan State by a seat and came in just three seconds in back of third-place Wisconsin.

Coming into the final race needing a fourth-place result to stay in the top three, the Orange and White were in a bind. Senior Rachel Mayberry had to withdraw from the race after falling ill on Saturday night. With one of her leaders out, UT head coach Lisa Glenn called upon Sehring to compete into her second race of the day. The crew of senior coxswain Stephanie Davis, sophomore Erin-Monique Shelton, juniors Renee Brittle and Krista Gearing, Sehring, juniors Jessica Ayers and Nina Dobratz, senior Sarah Hutcheson and junior Mary Jones then came up big, sneaking by Minnesota for a two-seat advantage at the line to finish fourth.

"We're really happy to have had representation in each of the grand finals in every varsity events today," said Tennessee head coach Lisa Glenn. "We had a really strong team effort across the board in terms of getting where we wanted to be on Saturday, and we followed through as best as we could on Sunday in the face of making a late lineup change. The team really handled that situation well and was able to follow through on what we needed to get done.

"I'm hopeful that our work this season will allow us to continue for a couple more weeks. This team has had a great year, and we hope to have the chance to take another step in two weeks at the NCAA Championships."

Virginia completed a perfect weekend, as the Cavaliers finished first in every race to capture their fifth overall regional title and the program's second Aramark Cup. Ohio State took home the Central Region championship, capturing 366 points on the weekend. After Tennessee's third-place finish with 352 points, Wisconsin came in fourth (346), Notre Dame ranked fifth (341) and Minnesota finished sixth (339). Michigan (309), Michigan State (301), UCF (294) and Louisville (85) rounded out the overall top 10.

The Lady Vols will find out their fate on Tuesday afternoon when the NCAA announces the field for the 2007 NCAA Rowing Championships, which will be held May 25-27 at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn.


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