The Stetson University men's and women's rowing teams opened the competitive fall season on Oct. 12 at the First Coast Head Race hosted by the Jacksonville Rowing Club in Jacksonville, Fla. The day was perfect for racing with light winds and good water.
The event opened with the Men’s Championship 1x with freshman Andrew Rouse finishing fifth with a time of 22:20 and sophomore Jack Ulriksen finishing seventh with a time of 23:01.
“Jack decided to take a long trip up the course and added a few meters to his route," Stetson second-year head coach Mark Wilson said. “I was happy with both of the boys to jump out there and race several people who are out of college so the results were fine.”
The next event was the Men’s Championship 2x with Rouse and Ulriksen competing together and earning a gold medal with a time of 21:44.
The Women’s Varsity 8 with Alicja Duda, Shannon McCarthy, Cathleen Vogelgesang, Shelby Curren, Julia Pearce, Molly Winsten, Tabitha Petri, Chloe Blackketter and coxswain Madeline Briggs rowed a solid race and finished fourth behind a strong Jacksonville boat and two solid Nova Southeastern 8’s. The Hatters bettered FIT and the JU B boat and finished with a time of 20:35.
The Hatters competed with two crews in the Women’s Varsity 4 event. The Hatter B boat of Briggs, Vogelgesang, Curren, Pearce and Blackketter finished fifth with a time of 20:26, trailing FIT by only 0.6 seconds. The Stetson A boat of Katie Shilling, Tori Teter, Kiara Urena, Dee Graham, and Sheree Carter finished seventh with a time of 21:59.
"All-in-all we had a good day, raced well and worked as a team on and off the water," Wilson said.
The Hatters novice team made the trip to Jacksonville, learned a lot about rowing and racing but did not compete.
“The idea was to expose the novice to a regatta with no pressure of competition for the day,” Wilson said.
The Hatters will be back in action in a scrimmage against UCF on Oct 26 on Lake Beresford in DeLand.