WEST WINDSOR, N.J. - The Drake rowing team captured the 2012 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship on Lake Mercer in Windsor, N.J. The Bulldogs scored 33 points to edge Marist by two points to win their first MAAC championship in school history.
Results from three races (Varsity 8, Varsity 4 and second Varsity 8) were used to calculate the overall winner.
"I told the team today it is very rare to be the first group to do something great at your university," Drake head coach Charlie DiSilvestro said. "They can now say they were the first to win a conference championship for Drake rowing. It might not sink in yet but in the future it will be a great memory for them."
Susan Goullette (New Brighton Minn.), Kat Moore (Brooklyn Center, Minn.), Maggie Benhart (St. Charles, Ill.), Madi Perington (Victoria, Minn.), Brittany Michael (Pleasant Hill) Jessica Nightser (Council Bluff, Iowa), Emily Householter (Wheaton, Ill.), Sarah Travis (Casa Grande, Ariz.) and Jacque Nowers (Ames, Iowa) (coxswain) clocked a time of 6:52.8 in the Varsity 8 race and tied with Marist. Video replay declared Drake the winner and they earned 18 points towards the title. Marist settled for 15 points, so the win pushed the Dogs to the conference title.
"The Varsity 8 race today was one of the best races I have ever seen," said DiSilvestro. "Timing really plays a part of rowing and I'm so proud of how the team competed together. The conference championship came down to the last stroke of the very last race and we came out on top today against Marist, who is a great team with great tradition. We were lucky today to come out on top but it is a perfect way to end the season."
Justine Choe (Morton Grove, Ill.), Megan Friel (Minnonka, Ill.), Andrea Piekarczyk (Downers Grove, Ill.), Brittney Smith (Duluth, Minn.), Kristina Vann (Batavia, Ill.), Brianna Leinon (Sussex, Wis.), Megan Bannister (LaGrange, Ill.), Mallory Bonstrom (Eau Claire, Wis.) and Hannah Hennessy (coxswain) (Morris, Ill.) finished in a time of 7:22.4 in the second Varsity 8 race, which was good for second place behind Marist (7:18.3).
Wenel Jais-Cross (Bolingbrook, Ill.), Brianna Leinon (Sussex, Wis.), Hannah Powers (Mt. Prospect, Ill.), Megan Friel and Monica Worsley (Cary, Ill.) (Coxswain) took second place in the Varsity 4 race with a time of 8:17.8.
"We did a great job of adjusting our race plans as the season went on," said DiSilvestro. "It was a team effort today and everyone contributed from the top boat to the bottom boat."
The Bulldogs also competed in two exhibition races that didn't count towards the championship total. Those results can be found below.
Drake joined the MAAC in 2009 and first competed in the conference championship in 2010 when they finished fourth overall. The 2011 MAAC championships were cancelled due to inclement weather. In 2013, the MAAC winner will advance to the NCAA Rowing Championship.
Next action for the Bulldogs will be next Saturday at the Dad Vail Championships in Philadelphia, Pa.
Exhibition Race Results