JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville University women’s rowing team started their season off with a bang with wins of the Championship 8 and Freshmen 4 events at the annual First Coast Head Race on Saturday, Oct. 12. Competing in their “backyard”, on the St. Johns and Arlington Rivers, the Dolphins had five boats compete in the regatta.
“We were really happy with the team today,” said Head Coach Jim Mitchell. “They are really exciting and energizing to work with, and they are always learning how to work better together. The 1st Varsity eight set the tone by winning their race against some good crews, and the freshmen 4 finished off the day by winning their event. Because we launched from our Rowing Center, we put in a lot of miles today, so this was a great training and racing event for us.”
The Varsity Eight "A" entry with Lauren Whetzel at coxswain finished the 4.8k course with a time of 18:38.22, beating the reigning Div. II National Champions Nova Southeastern by 12 seconds. The winning boat also included Danielle Keeler, Stefanie Keeler, Victoria Hernandez, Jessica Mathews, Jules Welch, Cat Plesko, Veronika Stasaityte and Jordyn Clary.
The Fins finished third in the Varsity 4 championship with the A-Boat posting a time of 19:21.94. Nova’s A-Boat recorded the win with a time of 18:48.07 which was 30 seconds faster than every other crew.
Closing the day with a victory in the Freshman 4 race, JU (19:06.57) again had Whetzel at coxswain with Danielle Keeler in the stroke seat, Victoria Tkacz in the 3, Stasaityte in the 2 and Stefanie Keeler at bow.
“We are excited to see how fast we can get these crews going over the next few months, and I am excited about the outlook,” continued Mitchell.
The Dolphins continue their fall schedule on Saturday, Oct.26 in the Alumni Race.
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