Drake Visits Omaha For Upper Midwest Collegiate Sprints
OMAHA, Neb. – The Drake University rowing team continues its busy April slate as the team visits Omaha for the Upper Midwest Collegiate Sprints on Carter Lake on Sunday, April 6. The annual spring event is hosted by Creighton University and is for smaller schools throughout the Midwest. Drake’s first race will be the Varsity 4+C at 9:45 a.m., while the Varsity 8+ race will close the day’s action at 1:15 p.m.
9:45 a.m. – Varsity 4+C
10:15 a.m. – Varsity 4+A
10:45 a.m. – Varsity 4+B
11:45 a.m. – Novice 4+A
12:15 p.m. – Novice NCAA 4+
1 p.m. – 2nd Varsity 8+
1:15 p.m. – Varsity 8+
The squad wrapped up a successful day of competition at the Kansas Invitational last Saturday. Drake raced Southern Methodist University in the morning before taking on the University of Kansas this afternoon.
“We knew we had tough competition coming into the Kansas Invitational,” said head coach Charlie DiSilvestro. “The girls raced very hard. I’m really proud of how the team came together after the morning session and took the adjustments we put in and everyone improved their times in the afternoon.”
ONE YEAR AGO
Drake’s novice and junior varsity crews competed against a mix of scholarship, non-scholarship and club teams at the Upper Midwest Sprints. Teams from Kansas State, Kansas, Wichita State, Saint Louis, St. Thomas, Nebraska and Creighton all participated. The Bulldogs varsity 4+ boat had the top finish of the day as they placed second.
Drake will have one more road trip before it hosts is annual spring regatta, the Drake Invitational, on Saturday, April 19. The Bulldogs travel to the two-day Lubbers Cup in Spring Hill, Michigan on April 5-6.
The following week Drake will compete for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship, which will take place on Lake Mercer in Princeton, N.J. on Saturday, April 26. Drake looks to capture its second conference title in program history.
18 returnees from last season’s squad along with six novice student-athletes comprise Drake’s roster this spring. The breakdown is six seniors, four juniors, eight sophomores and six freshman.
FROM ALL OVER
This year the Bulldogs have student-athletes from 10 different states and one foreign country as California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin are represented. Freshman Kerstin Donat hails from Germany and went to high school in Taiwan.
The Drake rowing team is an auxiliary member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The NCAA announced bracket expansion for women's rowing effective for the 2013 national championship. The expansion gives the winner of the MAAC championship an automatic bid to the national championship. Marist University captured the conference’s first automatic bid this last spring. Drake won its first conference title in school history in 2012.
The 2014 MAAC Championship will be held Saturday, April 26 on Lake Mercer in West Mercer, N.J., while the 2014 NCAA Championships is scheduled to be held May 30-June 1 at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Ind.
Thurstin served as the head coach of Denver University’s club rowing team this past year where she collaborated with university administrators and students to establish the school’s first-ever rowing club.
The Egan, Minn., native was a member of the University of Minnesota rowing team for two seasons and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in global studies and a minor in Spanish from Minnesota. She holds a US Rowing Level II certification and was a member, private lessons instructor and an advanced program coach for the Rocky Mountain Rowing Club from 2004-2013. Thurstin is in charge of the Drake novice team, while assisting with the day-to-day operations of the entire program and the recruitment of student-athletes.
HEAD COACH CHARLIE DISILVESTRO
DiSilvestro is in his 21st season at the helm of the Drake rowing program. DiSilvestro was named the program’s 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 in a thrilling finish, its first conference championship in school history. That same season 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 in Philadelphia. 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. The award is presented annually to a collegiate rowing coach that has had outstanding success and has also contributed to the regatta.