The lake was flat, the wind was calm, and the racing was pretty tight. Freshman Matt Lebron stroked the men's light four to a victory over Embry-Riddle's men's open four. And the Stetson's light women were relieved to see national bronze medalist and international Canadian Henley gold medalist, Caitlin Burke, return to stroke seat of the four after a nagging injury which she seems to have licked.
Coach Jen Jones was happy to see the novice women of Christine Vogelgesang, Sai Ociato, Kristin Haggerty, Deonna Graham with cox Maddie Briggs--though narrowly defeated in the fours--row tough and handle their first 2000meter race like young, disciplined athletes who didn't crab or loose their composure in a head-to-head race from start to finish with Embry-Riddle.
"The entire crew rowed well for our first outing this season, " said Coach Saint Sing. "Everyone was launching on time and taking directives to heart--it was really well rowed by both teams. Embry-Riddle couldn't field a pair, so our women's pair of Christy Ruane and Shay Martin raced against the eights and hung in there--only off the last eight by 3 lengths of open water, that bodes well for them in the future."
Stetson Sprints was not run this year in an attempt to return to the historical tradition of rowing dual races--much like football or baseball when one opponent meets another.
Coach Saint Sing says, "We'll try this this year and if it doesn't work well we may return to hosting a home spring regatta next year, but even Coach Quinn remarked about how good it was to follow the tradition of our sport and cultivate dual races that bring a greater intimacy and respect between the programs and develop more camaraderie than large, impersonal end of the year regattas."