The Stetson men's and women's rowing teams claimed one gold and two silver medals at the the FIRA State Championships Saturday at the Nathan Benderson Rowing and Aquatic Center in Sarasota, Fla.
The Hatters' women's 2x team of Deonna Graham and Alicja Duda finished first overall in the double scull event with a time of 10:01.8.
“This was the first time these two ladies raced other doubles this year and I was really proud of them," Stetson head coach Mark Wilson said. "They jumped off to an early start and led the entire race beating the University of Tampa and UCF by a considerable margin.”
The men's 2- team of David Nutting and Mike Sigrist finished second out of six teams with a time of 8:21.6, just seven seconds behind the leader.
“These two men have been training together all spring and it showed," Wilson said. "They were beaten by a stronger boat from Rollins but did an excellent job holding off a very strong pair from Jacksonville and four other crews. These guys did a great job in the head wind and really poured it all out.”
Jack Ulricksin competed in the men's 1x event and finished second out of four competitors, just 17 seconds behind the leader.
“Jack is working through some upper body injuries and really did a great job today," Wilson said. “He is a mature athlete and enjoys the challenge of the 1x and really did a nice job on the water."
Stetson also finished fifth out of seven teams in the Men's Novice 8.
"The Men’s Novice 8 had a great race and really looked solid as a boat today," assistant coach James Dietz said. "They finished a very nice fifth of eight and looked comfortable racing at a little higher rate than in the past. They did a really good job as a unit. I was happy with the boys today, they really worked well and lost to some much bigger crews today.”
The Women’s Novice 8 was a fast race and the Hatters looked great through the first 1000m but started to fade in the second 1000m and even with Canisius University catching a big crab could not hold them off and finished in last place.
“The team is really young and seven of the eight women only started rowing in January so we have a good amount of work to do but the girls on this team have a great spirit and a great work ethic," Wilson said. "Today was important and they will improve."
After the lunch break the remaining races were not quite as positive in the results column with the Light Women’s 4 racing in the JV4 event. This boat of Kiara Uhrena, Tori Teter, Duda, Grahram and cox Madeline Briggs placed eighth.
“The girls really pushed but they could not hold off a last 500m charge from Tampa," Wilson said. "It would have been good to see them get ahead a little but they could not hold off the last charge.”
The two Varsity fours also finished last with strong efforts from the Varsity B four of Sherree Carter, Molly Winston, Bria Parrish, Tabitha Petri and cox Aiden Keller. The Varsity A Four which had raced the night before to qualify was going into the race wanting to beat Florida State and Jacksonville but could not hold off the charge of the JU four at the finish. The boat of Chloe Blackletter, Julia Pearce, Shannon McCarthy, Cathleen Vogelsgang and cox Erin Lee raced well but came up short.
“These boats will continue training and we will be working on continued timing and power application for the next couple of weeks,” Wilson said.
The team now has one week off from racing to prepare for the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships in Oak Ridge TN on April 19-20.