Women rowers get first taste of competition
The Jacksonville University women’s rowing team got its first taste of competition during the weekend as it entered a pair of boats in the First Coast Head race.

JU entered the boats in the Championship 8 final and JU A boat, with Jordan Heylock, Emily Close, Whitney Mathews, Allison Sobiech, Jordyn Clery, Joanna Zachowski, Mary Mosier, Cassie MacLellan and Abby Sierigk aboard, navigated the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) course in a time of 17:22.25 and net time of 18:22.25.

The JU B boat (Savannah Rice, Rebecca Clark, Kelsey Carl, Kelly Cleveland, Kayla Cole, Serena Summerifeld, Jessica Desiderio, Christie Charlebois and April Beck) clocked of 20:07.62.

Coach Kris Muhl was pleased with the effort the teams gave.

“The racing went well,’’ he said. “Both boats set the bar high with some solid racing and we will only get stronger and row better each time we get on the water.’’

Muhl particularly liked the teams’ focus.

“Seeing how they came back to the boathouse after racing, it was clear they were still engaged and focusing on technique and strength.’’

He has his sights set on the Head of the Hooch race on Nov. 5 in Chattanooga, TN.

“The Head of the Hooch will have some large teams to match up against,’’ he said. “It has been a long time since we have had enough novices through the NCAA Eligibility Center to take to the Hooch.’’

The team will play host to the annual Alumni Race Saturday at the Negaard Rowing Center at 8 a.m.