The Stetson men’s and women’s rowing teams along with many other collegiate programs from across the state and region competed at the Florida Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships Apr. 4-5 at the Nathan Benderson Race Course in Sarasota.
Stetson raced in 16 events over the weekend and placed in the top three in seven events.
On the women’s side, the team raced well in all the boats with highlights in the 1x and 2x. Sculler Shelby Curran did the double and single and medaled in each of these events and also raced in the women's varsity 4+ (twice) and the women's varsity 8+.
“I knew it was a lot to ask Shelby and I am sure that no other person raced five times during the weekend, and she did an awesome job,” head coach Mark Wilson said. "The women’s team as a whole is much stronger than last year and it showed (Saturday) with the team finishing in the middle of the pack in all boats and not finishing last in any final.
“The team did a lot of good things today, on and off the water," Wilson added. "They worked like a team and were always there pushing hard or helping teammates off the water too.”
The women's varsity 8+, which placed last in the 2013 event, did a great job and raced a very solid first 1250 meters, rowing in third place behind Jacksonville and Nova Southeastern, but they were overtaken in the third 500 meters and gave up the medal spot to Rollins and FIT.
“The girls really raced well and just did not have the finishing power to finish with the sprint, but it was great to see them push hard to the finish,” Wilson said. "The team is full of new first year rowers who have learned a tremendous amount since the start of the year and they all raced very well today in various boats and fours. The varsity 4+ B was looking really strong and the junior varsity 4+ also raced well and kept the composure through the race to the finish line."
The men’s team was forced to scratch the men’s 4 which they were really pumped to compete in against JU, FIT and Rollins.
"These boys are highly competitive and have been working very well together all spring,” assistant coach James Dietz said. "It was very unfortunate that the men's 4 was not able to race but the team of only four student-athletes medaled four times in three events and all came home with hardware.
In the men’s pair Jackson Reddick and David Nutting did a great job of racing to the end and finished a very close second to the team from Rollins.
In the men’s single it was all Stetson with freshman Andrew Rouse just nipping his teammate Jack Ulriksen at the finish line for the one-two Stetson finish and then the two scullers of Rouse and Ulriksen joined forces and walked away from the competition in the men’s double and finished first by a considerable margin to earn the gold medal.
The Hatters will be training through the next week with a race at UCF on Saturday the 19th at 8am. The MAAC Regatta will be raced in Mercer County NJ on April 25-26th.