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Rowing Travels To Head Of The Iowa This Weekend

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: October 25, 2012
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THIS WEEKEND

The Drake rowing team will travel to the Head of the Iowa Regatta in Iowa City on Sunday, Oct. 28. The Bulldogs will have boats in the novice eight+, varsity eight+, novice four+ and the varsity four+ races Sunday.

REWIND

The Bulldogs last competed at the Head of the Mississippi Regatta in Minneapolis on Sunday, Oct. 7. The novice four team led by coxswain Hannah Hennessy (Morris, Ill.) won with a time of 22:36. Led by freshman coxswain Alison Armstrong (New Berlin, Wis.), the novice eight crew finished second to Minnesota.

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.

HISTORIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS

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.

EXTRA INCENTIVE

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.

ONE YEAR AGO

The Bulldogs had successful finishes at the 2011 Head of the Iowa. Drake's varsity eight crew, led by Susan Goulette,finished 13th with a time of 15:41.89 and its other varsity eight crew, led by Kristina Vann, finished 15th with a time of 16:51.35. The novice four crew finished in 19:41.62, good for eighth place.

FAST FORWARD

The Bulldogs will conclude the fall portion of their schedule on Saturday, Nov. 10 when they host the Creighton Bluejays. The annual dual against the Bluejays will begin in the morning at 9:30 a.m. and all races will be held on the Des Moines River, between the Des Moines Botanical center and Birdland Marina.

CAPTAINS

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

HEAD COACH

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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