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Rowing Set To Open Spring Season

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: April 05, 2013
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The Drake rowing team starts the 2013 spring season this weekend with the varsity crew traveling to the Shelton Duel in Shelton, Conn. on Saturday-Sunday, while the junior varsity/novice crew compete in Omaha, Neb. in the Upper Midwest Championships on Sunday.


The Drake University and the University of Tulsa rowing teams trained with each other two weeks ago in Tulsa, Okla. during the Bulldogs’ annual spring break trip to a warm-weather site. The two teams competed in various, timed scrimmage segments one night in four and eight-crew boats. The trip allowed Drake to practice on the water, something the Bulldogs hadn’t been able to do for some time in Des Moines due to the weather and water conditions on the Des Moines River.


Drake defeated the Creighton Bluejays in its annual end of the fall season duel on the Des Moines River on Saturday, Nov. 10. The Bulldogs won two of the three races to retain the trophy with Drake’s varsity eight crew edging the Bluejays in a close race to seal the victory.


The Bulldogs have 17 returners from last season’s championship team and 10 newcomers joining them this spring. The roster is comprised of 10 freshmen, seven sophomores, six juniors and four seniors.


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.


Drake placed second in the varsity eight race at the Shelton Duel, while the junior varsity captured two races at the Upper Midwest Championships.


Drake hosts its annual spring regatta, the Drake Invitational, on the Des Moines River on Saturday, April 20, 2013.


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


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.


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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