The University of Tennessee women's rowing team claimed victory in the grand finals of four events at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta in Oak Ridge on Saturday.
The Lady Vols took home titles in the Varsity 8+, 2nd Varsity 8+, Varsity 4+ and Novice 4+ events, while placing second in the Novice 8+.
Continuing a strong season, UT's Varsity 8+ crew of junior Lizzie Brown (coxswain), sophomore Kaitlin Bargreen, junior Nicole Bold, freshman Lauren Wells, sophomore Chelsea Pemberton, sophomore Dana Forbes, senior Kacey Montgomery, sophomore Melissa Dicerbo and junior Jessica Shreder took home the title at SIRAs for the second consecutive year.
The 20th-ranked Lady Vols clocked a time of 6:29.8 in the grand finals to defeat West Virginia (6:35.7), Louisville (6:36.1), Purdue (6:45.1), Cincinnati (6:46.3) and SMU (6:48.7).
Tennessee's 2nd Varsity 8+ shell dominated its competition in the grand finals as well, finishing more than 17 seconds ahead of the runner-up boat. The Lady Vols posted a time of 6:45.2 to outpace Cincinnati (7:02.5), West Virginia (7:07.4), Purdue (7:11.7), SMU (7:12.9) and Tulsa (7:37.5).
The Lady Vols' Varsity 4+ crew also claimed victory in convincing fashion. The squad recorded a time of 7:28.0 to down Barry College (7:37.2), Georgia (7:39.7), Jacksonville (7:41.7), Rollins College (7:50.9) and Cincinnati (7:58.9).
In one of the most tightly contested races of the day, UT's Novice 4+ came from behind in the final 500 meters of the grand final to nip UT-Chattanooga at the finish line en route to victory.
The competition marked the Lady Vols' most successful showing ever at the SIRA Championships. In 2002, UT took home its first SIRA title in the Varsity 8+ but had never claimed either the 2nd Varsity 8+, Varsity 4+ or Novice 4+ crown before Saturday.
Tennessee will compete next in South Carolina at the Clemson Classic, April 27, on Lake Hartwell.
LV golfers tied for lead at SECs
The No. 10 University of Tennessee Lady Vol golf team withstood an unrelenting charge by the Florida Gators to stay in first place and only allow UF to tie the tournament with only one round remaining at the 2003 SEC Championships in Lexington, Ky., even though UT was forced to count a quintuple bogey on the second hole.
The Lady Vols fired a two-day 16-over 592 (291-301), which ties for the fifth-lowest two-round total in program history.
Individually, freshman Violeta Retamoza trailed South Carolina's Kristy McPherson by one shot after posting a career-best four-under second-place 140 (70-70), which is tied for the second-lowest two-day individual total in UT history.
"It was a tough day today as we had to count a nine on the second hole and a double bogey on the 18th," UT coach Judi Pavon said. "To be tied with Florida at this point is good.
"Violeta is just an unbelievable and exciting player to watch. She has a strong desire and a lot of heart and really believes she can win this tournament. Shepley hung in there and always plays well for us."
The Lady Vols concluded the SECs Championships on Sunday, but results weren't available at press time.
Four Lady Vol tracksters enjoy successful weekend
UT women's track and field Coach J.J. Clark took four athletes to the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., over the weekend, and all four of them are coming home with career bests in their events and NCAA regional qualifying marks to boot.
Redshirt freshman Brooke Novak (1500 meters) and sophomores Nicole Cook (800m) and Dee Dee Trotter (200m) followed Sharon Dickie's personal-record effort and regional qualifying performance in the 5000m Thursday night with the exact same results in their own specialty races Saturday.
"It's been a great weekend for us," Clark said. "The athletes knew the mission coming out here, and I wanted them to execute our plan. We came all this way to run fast and qualify all of them for regionals, and we accomplished that. I'm very proud of their efforts at this meet.
"This is just another step we are taking toward achieving our goal of becoming a top program. All four of them are SEC scorers who keep working hard, getting better and recording PRs. If they score well at the conference level, it translates into scoring at the NCAA meet, and that's how we move up in the national picture. We're continuing to head in the right direction."