MORGANTOWN, W.Va – The West Virginia University novice rowing team opened the fall season by securing three top-five finishes and a victory at the 32nd annual Head of the Occoquan in Fairfax Station, Virginia.
“The first race is always a special challenge, and I am pleased with how things went today,” assistant coach Tina Griffith said, “Each boat did a great job meeting their particular challenges and overall the team made big steps towards realizing its full potential.”
The Mountaineers kicked off the regatta with two entries in the novice women’s four race, where WVU saw both of their boats finish in the top-four. WVU’s ‘A’ boat, coxed by Dana Bishop
and rowed by Lize Morris
, Gillian Downs
, Hallie Nichols
and Ashley Rackley
, won the race with a time of 20:43.28, 53 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, Virginia Tech.
The Mountaineers also had two entries in the Novice Women’s 8+ to wrap up the event. Of the 22 entries, both of the Mountaineers boats finished in the top-10. The ‘A’ boat finished in third-place, while the ‘B’ boat crossed the finish line in tenth place.
The ‘A’ boat, which was coxed by Bishop and rowed by Morris, Ciara Stewart
, Downs, Nichols, Parsons, Rackley, Mary Kate Westfall, and Rusnock-Rozzi, finished the event in 19:32.66.
“I was happy for the novice squad to see the work that they and their coaches have put in since September pay off in good racing performances today,” coach Jimmy King said. “The medals are nice, but the sense of accomplishment enjoyed by all of our crews is even better.”
The Head of the Occoquan is hosted by the Occoquan Boat Club, and was held at Sandy Run Regional Park. The event is one of the largest rowing regattas in the United States.
The varsity and novice teams will be back in action on November 11, as they host Duquesne in Morgantown to close out the fall season. The varsity team has been off since they took on Bucknell on October 8 and 9.
FROSH NOVICE WOMEN'S 4+ (22 total entries)
West Virginia ‘A’ (20:43.28)
Virginia Tech (21:36.15)
Franklin & Marshall College (21:46.19)
West Virginia ‘B’ (22:01.36)
Penn State Crew (22:04.52)
FROSH NOVICE WOMEN'S 8+ (23 total entries)
George Washington (17:57.15)
West Virginia ‘A’ (19:32.66)
St. Mary’s College of Maryland (20:13.74)
Penn State (20:52.23)
Loyola (Maryland) (21:02.46)
West Virginia ‘B’ (21:13.36)