Rowing preview: Longhorn Invitational
March 17, 2010
Texas at the Longhorn Invitational
LONGHORN & RACE NOTABLES
The Texas varsity and novice rowing teams will compete along with Central Florida, Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville and Oklahoma.
The Longhorn Invitational is a 2,000 meter dual-style race held annually on Lady Bird Lake. Texas and the five other crews will compete in head-to-head races in each race of the weekend.
At the 2009 Longhorn Invitational, Texas' first varsity eight posted a pair of victories over Duke and Central Florida. The Horns' crew comprised of coxswain Mary Cait McPherson, stroke Jen VanderMaarel, Felicia Izaguirre-Werner, Meg George, Nancy Arrington, Jelena Zunic, Karli Sheahan, Colleen Irby and Sara Cottingham bested Duke 6:44.7-to-6:49.9 and defeated UCF 7:08.6-to-7:24.35. Texas' second novice eight boat comprised of coxswain Emma Dirks, Sharon Dietz, Lucia Babar, Kait Postle, Ashley Hiatt, Andrea Janowski, Madonna Bregon, Daryn Ofczarzak and Dani Mohling knocked off Iowa in its race, besting the Hawkeyes 7:34.5-to-7:35.6. The 2N8 also bested Oklahoma, 7:42.0-to-7:43.47 to earn its second win of the weekend.
Last time out, Texas posted four victories in its four races at the 2010 Heart of Texas regatta (March 6) on Lady Bird Lake. The Longhorns posted victories in the women's open 8+, women's open 4+, women's novice 8+ and the women's novice 4+. The varsity eight comprised of coxswain Emma Dirks, stroke Charity McDonald, Anna Thomson, Meg George, Courtney Nicklas, Colleen Irby, Karli Sheahan, Kait Postle and Julia Stevens won the women's open 8+, finishing with a time of 3:15.61. The Austin Rowing Club finished second (3:17.83), but UT's varsity shell of coxswain Meg Kelly, Stephanie Matejka, Nancy Arrington, Jelena Zunic, Laurel McCaig, Sally Tunell, Tajana Lovric, Sarah Pedersen and Kaitlin Lewallen placed third and clocked a time of 3:18.30.
Texas started its 2010 racing season with a bang, claiming the top three places at the Fighting Nutria (Feb. 14). The Longhorns first varsity boat of coxswain Emma Dirks, stroke Jennifer VanderMaarel, Anna Thomson, Meg George, Callie Mattrisch, Jelena Zunic, Tajana Lovric, Jacqueline Gorcyca and Nancy Arrington posted a time of 29:07 and finished first. Texas second varsity eight comprised of coxswain Mary Cait McPherson, stroke Stephanie Matejka, Karli Sheahan, Colleen Irby, Laurel McCaig, Katarina Susac, Julia Stevens, Sally Tunell and Courtney Nicklas crossed the finish in 29:36 and placed second.
Texas wrapped up its fall racing season by posting four top-five finishes on its first day at the Head of the Hooch regatta (Nov. 7, 2009). The Longhorns placed third in the championship 4+ and fourth in the championship 8+. The Horns' crew of coxswain Mary Cait McPherson, stroke Jennifer VanderMaarel, Felicia Izaguirre-Werner, Meg George, Anna Thomson, Jelena Zunic, Karli Sheahan, Sally Tunell and Nancy Arrington finished fourth with a time of 14:31.2
At the Head of the Hooch, UT's pair of junior Jennifer VanderMaarel and sophomore Felicia Izaguirre-Werner won the open 2- on the second day of the Head of the Hooch.
In 2009, the Longhorns claimed the inaugural Big 12 Rowing Championship after winning seven straight Big 12 Invitational titles. Texas won the conference's first title, totaling 51 points, while Kansas State finished second with 48 points and Kansas placed third with 45 points. Oklahoma did not compete for the crown, only participating in the novice and varsity four races. Texas' varsity and novice squads combined for two victories, winning the second novice eight and second varsity eight races.