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Rowing Concludes Fall Season With Annual Duel Against Creighton

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: November 08, 2012
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DES MOINES, IOWA - The Drake rowing team will finish the fall season with its annual duel against Creighton this Saturday, Nov. 10. The action will begin 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.

"This will be the 20th annual duel against Creighton," Drake head coach Charlie DiSilvestro said. "We always end the fall season with this race and it is run in the NCAA format with head-to head races. Three varsity races and each one will receive a certain amount of points and the team with the most points at the end wins the trophy. We won it last year and we hope to do it again this year and keep the trophy."

Saturday's Schedule

9:30     Varsity Four
9:40     2nd Varsity Eight
9:50     1st Varsity Eight
10:45    Novice Eight

10:55    Novice Four


Drake competed at the 2012 Head of the Iowa Regatta in Iowa City on Sunday, Oct. 28. Larger scholarship programs, smaller non-scholarship programs and club programs competed against the Bulldogs and it marked the 17th time the Drake rowing team had competed in the Regatta. The University of Wisconsin, a regional powerhouse won many of the day's races. The Drake novice four crew recorded the highest finish of the day with a six place time of 18:45.734.

NEARLY 50-50

The Bulldogs have 16 returners from last season's championship team and 15 newcomers join them this fall (junior Mallory Bonstrom (Eau Claire, Wis.) is studying abroad this semester). The roster is comprised of 15 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 three of the four races last year against the Bluejays to take home the duel trophy. The Varsity Eight boat won their race in a time of 5:11.14.


The duel against the Bluejays will conclude the fall season for the Bulldogs. The next competition for Drake will be at the Wichita State dual on March 16, 2013.


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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