The Tennessee rowing team will have smiles on their faces Saturday for one reason they're finally at home. After competing in Pittsburgh and Clemson, S.C., in the season's first two events, the Lady Vols will host the 25th Head of the Tennessee Regatta on Fort Loudoun Lake.
When we travel far away, we don't get a chance to take everyone with us, head coach Lisa Glenn said. This event gives the parents a chance to come out and support their daughters in competition.
In the first two events, the Lady Vols have had great success. In the Head of the Ohio in Pittsburgh, the Club 4+ boat of Shannon McMahon, Lauren Kueck, Grace Harrington, Joyce Kranzke and Kristen Logan took first place in a field of 33 boats with a time of 18:25.60.
In the Head of Lake Hartwell in South Carolina, Tennessee's 4+ boats once again flourished. In the second 4+ race, the team of Lizzy Brown, Kelly Kraiss, Kay Logan, Ashley Smith and Marie Hanscom took home top honors with a time of 23:30.
The Lady Vols also had two boats finish second and third in the first 4+ race. In the Varsity 8+ race, the Lady Vols' boat crossed the line in third.
Glenn hopes that the string of success will carry over into this weekend's home event.
I'm looking for a good competitive effort from our team, Glenn said. There's no reason why we can't do well.
Glenn said she was looking for two things to come out of this race.
First, we're just glad to be home and we're looking to provide some fun for the community so that they can see what we do all year, she said. Second, this is an event that gets the whole team involved. We have about 40 first-year rowers and this will be important for them to get experience.
According to Glenn, spectators should watch the race at Sequoyah Hills, where they can see the teams put their boats into the water as well as watch the competition.
There will be around 1,700 competitors Saturday, but the Head of the Tennessee has a staggered start where each boat 10 seconds apart. The boats will be racing against the clock to determine who has the best time in each event.
Although there will be many competitors at the event, Glenn said her team isn't worried.
It doesn't matter who's out there, Glenn said. The other teams just help us by presenting a challenge for our team.
The Lady Vols' 4+ boats take the water at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Sequoyah Hills. The 8+ team will enter the water at 3:30 p.m.