SUNDAY, APRIL 13, 2008
Rowing has repeat success at FIRA State Championships

April 13, 2008

TAMPA, Fla. - After venturing into "uncharted territory" with a program record finish last season, the Dolphins proved its performance was no fluke as the JU rowing program was a major force for the second straight year at the Florida Intercollegiate Rowing Association State Championships on Friday and Saturday on the Tampa Bypass Canal.

Other schools competing in the event were Florida State, Florida, UCF, Miami, Florida Tech, Rollins College, Stetson, Nova Southeastern, Embry Riddle, Berry, Tampa and Georgia Tech.

Last year, the Dolphins had never won an overall point trophy in the program's history of competing at the state regatta but JU left Tampa with nine state championships, a team overall point trophy, a men's overall point trophy and a women's overall point trophy. On top of that, JU had a total of 17 boats competing and came away with nine gold medals, six silver medals and a bronze.

This year, JU equaled the task by coming away with eight state championships and repeat trophies in the team overall, men's overall and women's overall point titles.

In the overall team points, JU placed first with 209 ahead of Stetson (82.5) and Rollins College (55). In the men's points, the Dolphins finished with 115 ahead of Florida Tech (50.5) and Rollins College (33.5). In the women's standing, JU placed first with 94.2 ahead of Stetson (55.75) and Nova Southeastern (36.5).

"The whole program represented JU well today," said JU director of rowing Jim Mitchell. "We went to defend out state team titles and that's exactly what we did. Coach Talucci and the women's program had a historic day and the men's team showed much improvement and depth by racing well in every event."

All told, the Dolphins had 15 boats competing and came away with seven gold medals, six silver medals and two bronze. Every boat represented by JU finished in the top three and the Women's Varsity 8 won the state championship for the first time in program history (1977-present).

"It was a very exciting and intense weekend for JU women's rowing," said JU women's head coach Anna Talucci. "The Women's Varsity 8 won a tight race in the morning to set the tone for the rest of the day. Winning FIRA's was a big step in developing our program and we need to build off of this momentum as we go into SIRA's and Dad Vails."

The Men's Varsity 8 with coxswain Jessica Merchant, Dylan Kosten, Richmond Jones, Sebastian Kuhn, Greg Boccieri, Tyler Humphrey, Patrick Lura, Matthew D'Amico and Stefan Negaard led things off with the programs first state title with a time of 5:26.4, behind guest Georgia Tech (5:25.0). Despite finishing with silver in the event, the squad finished first among Florida competitors Florida Tech (5:27.2), Florida (5:35.0), UCF (5:45.7) and Stetson (5:59.4).

The Women's Varsity 8 with coxswain Jill Sarno, Candace Barber, Danielle Fournier, Stephanie Bechtold, Jessica Tuten, Jennifer Barker, Karly Greer, Julia Fairchild and Keely Wells racked up the second straight title with a time of 6:10.3. Stetson (6:11.4), Nova Southeastern (6:12.2), Berry (6:17.6), Rollins College (6:21.3), Florida (6:14.3) and Florida Tech (6:35.2) rounded out the rest of the field.

The Men's Junior Varsity 8 consisting of coxswain Anthony Magro, Erich Negaard, Lucas Meers, Chris Carter, Bradley Woodrum, Adam Heine, Joey Civello, Ryan O'Donnell and Kevin Friedlander made it three straight for the Dolphins with a time of 5:40.0. Florida Tech "A" (5:47.5), Georgia Tech (5:53.8), Florida Tech "B" (6:12.3), Florida (6:14.3) and UCF (6:24.3) rounded out the rest of the field.

The Men's Pair with Tyler Humphrey and Richmond Jones took home gold with a mark of 6:19.1, ahead of Stetson "A" (6:31.7), Rollins College "A" (6:39.0), Georgia Tech (6:40.3), Rollins College "B" (6:44.3), Florida Tech (6:55.8) and Stetson "B" (7:32.3).

The Men's Freshman/Novice 8 with coxswain Anthony Magro, Dylan Kosten, Kevin Friedlander, Ryan O'Donnell, Casey McCallister, Matt Repici, Steve White, John Gerety and Chris Barse placed first with a time of 5:41.2. Georgia Tech "A" (5:42.5), Georgia Tech "B" (5:53.8), Rollins College (5:59.5), Florida (6:11.5) and UCF (6:22.6).

The Men's Junior Varsity 4 with coxswain Jamie Goldstein, Adam Heine, Bradley Woodrum, Chris Carter and Michael Scully took home gold with a mark of 6:18.2, ahead of Rollins College (6:26.9), Stetson (6:30.5), Florida State (6:40.5), Florida (6:45.5) and UCF (6:49.3).

The Men's Freshman/Novice 4 with coxswain Jamie Goldstein, Dylan Kosten, Kevin Friedlander, Ryan O'Donnell and Chris Barse placed first with a time of 6:13.4, ahead of Georgia Tech (6:18.4), Florida (6:20.5), Florida Tech (6:30.8), Rollins College (6:34.4), and Stetson (6:41.0).

The Women's Freshman/Novice 4 with coxswain Claire Futo, Candace Barber, Danielle Fournier, Julia Fairchild and Karly Greer rounded out the top finishers with a mark of 7:02.7, ahead of Florida (7:13.8), Nova Southeastern (7:15.6), Georgia Tech (7:22.4), Tampa (7:42.0) and Stetson (7:44.2).

Other silver medal winners for JU were the Women's Junior Varsity 8 (6:48.1), Women's Freshman/Novice 8 (6:46.4), Women's Junior Varsity 4 (7:20.6), Women's Varsity 4 (6:55.3) and the Women's Freshman/Novice 4 "B". Coming away with a bronze medal were the Women's Pair (7:59.6) and the Men's Varsity 4 (6:08.1).

The Dolphins will next compete in the SIRA Championships on April 19 in Oak Ridge, Tenn.