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Bulldogs last participated in the Head of the Mississippi Regatta in 1993.
Courtesy: Drake Athletics

Rowing Heads North To Minneapolis

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: October 05, 2012
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The Drake rowing team will travel to the Head of the Mississippi Regatta in Minneapolis, Minn. this Sunday, Oct. 7. The Bulldogs last participated in the Head of the Mississippi during the 1993 fall season. Drake will have boats in the novice eight+, collegiate four+, novice four+ and the collegiate eight+ races Sunday.


The Bulldogs competed in five races at the annual Head of the Des Moines Regatta last Saturday. The team raced many of the newcomers on this year's roster and it gave most the chance to compete in their first rowing competition. Drake swept the collegiate doubles race and won the club novice fours race.

NEARLY 50-50

The Bulldogs have 16 returners from last season's championship team and 17 newcomers join them this fall (junior Mallory Bonstrom (Eau Claire, Wis.) 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 (Ames, Iowa) (coxswain), Kat Moore, Susan Goullette, Sarah Travis and Maggie Benhart (St. Charles, Ill.) 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 won both women's eight races, including the open eight, amidst a record field of entrants on the Mississippi River at the Quad Cities Classic.


After Sunday, Drake will have a couple of weeks before its next regatta. The team will travel ninety miles east to the Head of the Iowa Regatta on Sunday, Oct. 28. The annual event is hosted by the University of Iowa rowing team.


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 in 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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