SARASOTA, Fla. – Florida Tech women’s rowing made history twice Friday at the 2021 Sunshine State Conference Rowing Championship when the program became the first in the SSC to win four straight conference titles, which also brought to nine the team’s total number of conference championships. Both are records.
The women tallied a first-place finish in the V8 and a second-place nod in the V4, which was good for first place overall.
“I’m real proud of the ladies for the effort that they have given this year,” said head coach Adam Thorstad. “They have performed well under pressure all year and I was happy to see them keep showing that resilience and coming back and doing some good stuff today.”
Back at the familiar grounds of Nathan Benderson Park, the Panthers opened their championship with the V4. The shell of Savannah Wilson (bow), Gabby Rodezno Wilson, Julia Seibold, Sophia Ferrizzi (stroke) and Alice Pennings (coxswain) had a solid outing as they finished second with a time of 8:09.4, 4.2 seconds behind Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU).
However, the V8 of the Crimson and Gray found itself on the top step of the podium as the boat of Graysen Pensch (bow), Simona Vileniskyte, Sydney Spicer, Hannah Schilcher, Maclain Zajicek, Liza Lutter, Ismini Noni, Anna Kayser Gallego (stroke) and Abbigale Smith (coxswain) crossed the line in 7:03.6. This clear water victory was almost nine seconds faster than the Embry-Riddle Eagle’s shell that crossed in 7:12.3.
These efforts combined gave Florida Tech 23 total points, one more than second-place ERAU. This meant the women earned their fourth straight title and ninth as a program, both of which are SSC rowing records. The next closest in overall titles is Barry University with seven.
Florida Tech and the rest of the DII rowing community will be anxiously waiting Monday, May 17, and the NCAA DII selection show to see if their season will continue in the National Championship regatta.
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