JU women enter six boats in Head of Hooch regatta
A full weekend of racing on the Tennessee River is in store for the JU women’s rowing team as it travels to the all-important Head of the Hooch regatta.

Program director and women’s head coach Jim Mitchell has six boats entered in the competition which begins Saturday in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The JU effort will have to wait until just after noon for its first action when two boats will compete in the Championship 8 race on the 5,000-meter course through downtown.

Senior coxswain Savannah Rice will lead the crew on Tiger in the Championship 8 A race. She will have Victoria Hernandez, Jordyn Clary, Emily Close, Whitney Mathews, Jules Welch, Cat Plesko, Joanna Zachowski and Mary Mosier on board.

Another senior, Jordan Heylock, will coxswain for crew Cassie MacLellan, Ashley Hirt, Abby Sierigk, April Beck, Kelly Cleveland, Rebecca Clark, Blanca Fernandez and Sydney Warpness in the Championship 8 B boat “Obrien’’.

The women’s Novice 4 boat, “Shirlee,’’ will hit the water in mid-afternoon with Monica Hakun at coxswain and Hernandez, Hirt, Welch and Warpness on board.

The Novice 8 boat, with Renee Pharis at coxswain, sees action later in the day with Jenna Holt, Laura Stevenson, Chassidy White, Gabby Roque, Kacey Talbot, Maggie Peterson, Fernandez and Lauren Cruz crewing.

The final women’s action of the day is late afternoon in the Championship 4 competition and The Fin has two boats entered.

Heylock will coxswain the A boat with Sierigk, Mathews, Close and Mosier as crew while Rice will lead the B boat with MacLellan, Clary, Ivy Hartley and Samara Generals on board.

The Hooch has special meaning to Mitchell on a couple of levels.

“We are looking forward to going to Chattanooga this weekend to race against some great competition,’’ he said. “I am particularly looking forward to going back to the city where I went to school and to participate in a regatta that I’ve been to every year since 1990. I think we will have a good time and a good learning experience to use for the rest of the year. The city of Chattanooga and the Head of the Hooch are two of my favorite things.’’