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Rowing Starts Fall Season At Head Of The Des Moines Regatta

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: September 26, 2012
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The Drake rowing team and the Des Moines Rowing Club host the 29th annual Head of the Des Moines Regatta on Saturday, Sept. 29 starting at 8:45 am at Prospect Park along the banks of the Des Moines River. This weekend is the first of four races this fall for the Bulldogs and the team will conclude the campaign with a dual against the Creighton Bluejays in Des Moines on Saturday, Nov. 10.

NEARLY 50-50

The Bulldogs have 16 returners from last season's championship team and 17 newcomers will join them this fall (junior Mallory Bonstrom is studying abroad this semester). The roster is comprised of 17 freshmen, seven sophomores, five juniors and four seniors.


The 2012 spring season was the most successful in the Drake Rowing program's history.  The Bulldogs won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship which was the first league title in school history. In addition, the Bulldogs' team of Jacque Nowers (coxswain), Kat Moore, Susan Goullette, Sarah Travis and Maggie Benhart captured the women's varsity heavyweight four division at the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia for the first gold medal ever won there by a Drake team.


The NCAA announced bracket expansion for women's rowing effective for the 2013 national championship. The expansion will give the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference winner an automatic bid to the national championship. The Drake rowing team is an auxiliary member of the MAAC. The MAAC Championship will be held Saturday, April 27 in Princeton, N.J. and the NCAA Championships will be held May 31-June 2 in Lake Lanier, Georgia.


The Bulldogs competed in five races at the 2011 Head of the Des Moines, including the collegiate eight, collegiate singles, club doubles and collegiate doubles. Drake raced mainly its novice teams, but  Susan Goullette and Kat Moore place second and third respectively in the collegiate single race.


A pair of seniors, Andrea Piekarczyk (Downers Grove, Ill.) and Kristina Vann (Batavia, Ill.), are the designated captains this year for the Bulldogs.


Charlie DiSilvestro is entering his 20th season at the helm of the Drake rowing program. DiSilvestro was named the head coach in July of 1993 and oversaw the transition of rowing from a Drake club sport to a Division I varsity sport.

DiSilvestro was named the 2012 MAAC Coach of the Year prior to the MAAC Championships on April 27, 2012. Drake captured the MAAC championship the next day, its first conference championship in school history. DiSilvestro helped lead Jacque Nowers, Kat Moore, Susan Goullette, Sarah Travis and Maggie Benhart to the women's varsity heavyweight four championship at the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta. Their gold medal at the Dad Vail was also a first for the program.

In May of 2011, DiSilvestro was named Collegiate Coach of the Year by the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, Pa.  The award is presented annually to a collegiate rowing coach that has had outstanding success and has also contributed to the regatta.

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