Gophers finish eighth in Central/South Sprints

Dan Miller

Wendy Davis and Minnesota’s rowing team take pride in the progress the team has made in its four years of existence.

“We are now beating long-established programs,” Davis said. “We have come a long way in the past few years.”

They showed their improvement last Sunday as they finished their season at the Central/South Sprints in Knoxville, Tenn. Minnesota placed eighth out of 23 teams with 264 team points.

The Gophers’ Varsity Four finished second in the B Final behind Michigan State. The team included coxswain Leah Gross, Colleen Brown, Catilin Dowden, Meghan Johnson and Megan Stuhlfaut and was clocked at 7:48.6.

Minnesota’s Second Varsity Eight qualified for the Grand Final for the first time in school history, finishing sixth with a time of 6:58.8.

Virginia won the competition with an overall score of 404 points. Third-ranked Ohio State came in second.

The Gophers’ First Varsity Eight placed third overall in the B Final. Minnesota’s team of coxswain Katherine Nelson, Jackie Gagner, Melissa Roche, Sam Wangsgard, Vilma Stragyte, Heidi Rose, Andrea Pierce, Beth Ratterman and Jill Peters had a time of 6:54.0. Michigan State won the event with a time of 6:49.9. Notre Dame was second in 6:51.3.

“If you consider that our Second Varsity Eight finished dead last two years ago, this is a very big step,” Davis said. “The best part is that there are a lot of sophomores in that boat that will be back next year.”