OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – The 2007 NCAA Women’s Rowing National Championships began today with Divisions II & III competing in the Petite and Grand Finals at
the Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In the Panthers repechage race Tech placed 4th to put them in the petite finals. Competing against Seattle
Pacific in the petite finals, Tech fell short of Seattle Pacific to finish 6th overall in the NCAA National Championships. Western Washington collected
wins in both the fours and eights grand finals, and became the first team in any division to win three straight NCAA rowing titles.
In the first Division II WV8+ heat on Saturday morning Florida Tech competed against UC San Diego, Nova Southeastern, and Seattle Pacific for the chance to
compete in the grand final race. Florida Tech went out full force and came out with their best time of the weekend but couldn’t end in the top two
positions to head to the grand final race. Tech finished in 4th with a time of 7:16.07 but UC San Diego came out on top with a time of 6:569.11. Sunshine
State Conference WV8+ boat came in second with a time of 7:06.01 while Seattle Pacific placed 3rd with a time of 7:08.21. The Crimson and Grey will go head
to head against Seattle Pacific in the DII WV8+ Petite Final on Sunday morning.
Heading to the Grand Final Race for the DII National Title will be SSC eight boat Nova Southeastern, Dowling, Western Washington, and UC San Diego. Western
Washington will be looking to grab the eight boat title for the third straight year in a row.
Looking to compete for bragging rights Florida Tech faced off against Seattle Pacific in the Petite Finals for 5th and 6th place. Throughout the race each
boat kept close with one another with Tech leading Seattle Pacific through the first 1000 meters by three seats. Through the 1500 meter mark and on Seattle
Pacific closed the gap and started to gain a three seat lead and then pushed to a full length boat lead. Seattle Pacific’s advantage was too much for the
Panthers to overcome as Seattle Pacific crossed the finish with a time of 7:24.93 placing 5th while Tech crossed with a time of 7:32.76 to finish 6th in
the National Championships.
The WV8+ is assembled by coxswain Morgan Tweedie (Osprey, Fla.) stroke seat by Laurel Borgias (Spokane, Wash.), seven seat Mikki Devaux (Gros-Islet, St.
Lucia), sixth seat by Rachel Purvis (Brockville, Ontario), fifth seat by Amanda Saeger (Des Plaines, Ill.), fourth seat by Safia Tappan (Sarasota, Fla.),
third seat by Sam Roman (Jacksonville, Fla.), second seat by Skibski (Tolland, Mass.), and in the bow seat is Jennifer Johnson (Portland, Oregon).
In the Grand Final WV8+ race, Western Washington took an early lead and held on to take 1st place with a time of 7:03.80 but UC San Diego and Dowling kept
close and battled for 2nd place throughout the entire 2000 meter course. UC San Diego came across with a time of 7:09.51 finishing 2nd with Dowling placing
third in a time of 7:12.93 while SSC eight boat Nova Southeastern came across 4th with a finishing time of 7:28.30.
In other rowing news, Florida Tech’s Rachel
Purvis (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) was announced to the CRCA (Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association) 2007 Division II Pocock All-American Team.
Purvis is joined by nine other student athlete rowers that have attended or are attending and rowing at six different Institutions. Other SSC rowers
receiving All-American honors came from Nova Southeastern and Rollins College. The Award recognized the outstanding performances of rowers at Division II
Institutions. Other selection criteria was strength of schedule, regular season record, end of season regatta results, nomination rank, coach’s comments,
and 2000 meter erg score.
Purvis also earned honors as a CRCA 2007 Scholar Athlete along with teammate Jennifer Johnson (Portland, Oregon). The criteria
for this selection is based on the student-athlete who holds a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher for her career. Purvis who graduated this May received her
bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology while holding a 3.76 cumulative GPA. Johnson who will be a junior in the upcoming 2007-2008 year is also majoring in
Marine Biology and holds a 3.86 cumulative GPA.
Head Coach Adam Thorstad overall stated “I and we (the team) are pleased with the outcome of the season, I look forward to working with the return rowers
and improving on our outcome this year. Having the three seniors on our team has helped the younger rowers mature faster than normal and it has shown; they
have done a great job since the beginning. Being here at the NCAA has just shown how hard all the girls have worked this year and it has broaden their
horizons for what they need to do to compete again in the upcoming years.”
To check out all the NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships check the NCAA website at http://www.ncaasports.com/rowing/womens with official ending results and highlights of the NCAA Women’s