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Drake Set To Travel To Lubbers Cup

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: April 11, 2014
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SPRING HILL, Mich. – The Drake University rowing team travels to the 2014 Lubbers Cup, which takes place over two days (April 12-13) on a 2,000 meter course on Spring Lake.

The Don Lubbers Cup Regatta, named after former Grand Valley State University President and rowing supporter, Arend D. (Don) Lubbers, features hundreds of athlete participants and some of the top rowing teams from all over the Midwest. Since its origin in 1995, the Lubbers Cup Regatta has grown to an event that attracts over 500 student athletes to Spring Lake to kickoff the regatta season.

The Bulldogs will participate in several races in a double dual format each day against fellow collegiate teams such as Cincinnati, Colorado State, Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Grand Valley and Purdue.


Drake rowing head coach Charlie DiSilvestro announced that the program’s annual spring regatta, the Drake Invitational, scheduled for April 19 on the Des Moines River has been cancelled. Drake’s opponent St. Thomas University had to withdraw due to a scheduling conflict. The team will host a rowing exhibition in its place that morning. More details will be released next week on www.GoDrakeBulldogs.com.


The Drake University Rowing Varsity 4+ boat was honored by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference as the MAAC Varsity 4+ Crew of the Week, the conference office announced this week.

The varsity 4+A boat of cox Jacque Nowers (Ames, Iowa), Jessica Nightser (Council Bluffs, Iowa), Katie Serbin (Hannibal, Mo.), Alex Lueck (West Allis, Wis.), Emily Householter (Wheaton, Ill.) recorded a time of 7:21.98, nearly seven seconds in front of second place and host Creighton, at the Upper Midwest Collegiate Sprints this past Sunday in Omaha, Neb. The boat also beat teams from Kansas State, Nebraska and St. Thomas.


Drake’s three varsity 4+ boats each captured first place finishes at the Upper Midwest Collegiate Sprints on Carter Lake.

In the squad’s other races, Drake’s varsity 8+ boats each placed second in their respective races, with the second varsity finishing just 3/10 of a second behind Creighton with a time of 6:37.6. The first varsity 8+ boat clocked a time of 6:43.10 behind Creighton (6:20.32) and in front of St. Thomas University (7:24.47).


The Bulldogs last participated in the Lubbers Cup back in 2013 when they won two races and placed second in another. Drake claimed victories in the first varsity 4+ race and the third varsity 4+ race.


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.


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.


Senior Mallory Bonstrom (Eau Claire, Wis.) along with juniors Maggie Benhart (St. Charles, Ill.) and Householter will serve as team captains this year.


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.


DiSilvestro hired Katie Thurstin as his new assistant coach this past summer. Thurstin replaced Jane Detwiler who left after two seasons for an assistant coach position at Wichita State University.

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.


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.

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