FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012
Heady field of competition for JU women
The Jacksonville University women’s rowing team will get an opportunity to race against some of the nation’s best when it travels to Tennessee this weekend for the Oak Ridge Invitational.

An array of some of the best will be at Melton Hill Lake as Alabama and Kansas, Virginia, Buffalo, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Duke, Dayton, Notre Dame, Tennessee and host Louisville are scheduled to compete.

For many of the schools involved, the Invitational will be their first race of the year and some, like the Dayton Flyers, have been training in Florida to get ready. The Dolphins opened their season last week in DeLand, Fla.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to see what competition is like at the highest level of collegiate rowing and try out some different things with race plans, race execution and some line-ups,’’ coach Kris Muhl said.

The Dolphins are scheduled to be on the water in five events during the two-day regatta. Saturday, the 8+ crew of Emily Close, Cat Plesko, Whitney Mathews, Jordyn Clary, Joanna Zachowski, Abby Sierigk, Maycee Dioneda, Mary Mosier and coxswain Jordan Heylock will get the morning session under way.

Following them will be the 4+ team of coxswain Savannah Rice, April Beck, Whitney Abshear, Serena Summerfield and Rebecca Clark and the day’s activities will wind down with the same group in the PM session.

Sunday, both the 8s and 4s will be in action.

“Lining up against teams that will be going to the NCAA’s is a big deal,’’ Muhl said. “We will have an opportunity to learn from the other teams and take what we learn to Spring Break Training (next week) and keep working to move things forward.’’