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Bulldogs Advance To Semifinals Of Dad Vail

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: May 09, 2014
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PHILADELPHIA - The Drake University rowing team’s varsity 4+ boat raced to a second place finish in its heat Friday to advance to the semifinals of the 2014 Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta.

Senior Brittany Michael (Pleasant Hill, Iowa) along with sophomores Kelsey Leahy (Madison, Wis.), Alex Lueck (West Allis, Wis.), Katie Serbin (Hannibal, Mo.) and coxswain Bri Varela (Olathe, Kan.), finished with a time of 07.26.897 in the Division I women’s open weight 4 race to move on to the semifinals on Saturday morning. Drake beat Delaware, Jacksonville, Lafayette and Lehigh and finished behind Massachusetts (07.14.374).

“I’m very pleased how this boat lineup has come together because they have never been together in an official race until today,” said head coach Charlie DiSilvestro. “We put together the race we were looking for all season today. We had some great weather and the girls did an outstanding job today.”

If the Bulldogs finish in the top two of their semifinal, they move on to the finals, which are slated for Saturday afternoon and will be shown on ESPN3. The Bulldogs will face Bowdoin College, Drexel, MIT Nova Southeastern and UConn Saturday at 8:30 a.m. CST as they try to qualify for the Dad Vail finals for the first time since 2012. Leahy’s sister, Alyssa, a senior at Drexel is in the Dragons’ boat.

“We are going to put together a new race plan tonight,” said DiSilvestro on tomorrow’s strategy. “It is going to be some tough competition. Today we were pretty comfortable in qualifying, but tomorrow we are going to need to bring a higher gear. We are excited to see some great completion and the girls know we need to execute at a higher intensity.”

The Aberdeen Dad Vail is the largest college regatta in North America and it first started in 1934. The race course is 2,000 meters, which is an Olympic length course, and features six race lanes. The Dad Vail features over 175 different races. In its 76th year, the Dad Vail had a record 128 college and universities compete in 2013. This is the 20th consecutive year Drake has participated in the Dad Vail.

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