Forget team unity - the UT rowing team doesn't need it.

With over 900 miles between them, both the varsity and novice crews saw gold this weekend.

Members of the Lady Vols varsity crew took first in the club eights race at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, Mass. This is the second consecutive year Tennessee has won the event.

The Head of the Charles is the largest rowing meet in the world, trailing only the Boston Marathon as the largest event in the area.

"My parents couldn't even find a hotel room within 30 minutes of Boston," Tennessee co-captain Kacey Montgomery said before the event. "It's a huge event, and the atmosphere is unlike anything I have ever been a part of. Coach (Lisa) Glenn describes it as Neyland Stadium for rowing."

Glenn said she is always happy to make the trip to Boston.

"It is the one time our rowers can feel like a football player does in the Southeast," Glenn said before the races. "When the event is going on, the whole city of Cambridge shuts down. There are people along the shorelines for the entire three miles."

While the Head of the Charles is special for garnering such enthusiasm from the local community, Glenn thought the pieces were in place for Knoxville to build a thriving interest in the sport. She pointed to events such as the Head of the Tennessee Regatta, which was held on Saturday.

UT's novice crew had the opportunity to prove itself while varsity was away by participating in three events on the Tennessee River. The Lady Vols beat out Murray State by eight seconds to win the women's championship fours race.

UT also saw success in the collegiate novice eights with two boats placing second and fourth. Lindsey Tehan rowed on UT's second place team and was pleased with the performance.

"We were pretty disappointed with our first race (in Chattanooga)," Tehan said. "Today we knew what we were capable of doing and successfully performed."

In their final event of the day, UT rowers Lindsay Jones and Elizabeth Freeman came in second in the open pairs event. After a long weekend of competition, UT rower Jennifer Sowers said she wasn't surprised with the outcome.

"We have been working our butts off these past few weeks," Sowers said. "If you just watch the sport and don't know a lot about it, you think it looks easy. I think the crowd in Boston understands that, and hopefully people around here will start to realize that too."

The Lady Vols conclude the fall leg of their schedule at the Head of the Chattahoochee in Gainesville, Ga., on Nov. 2. The site should offer excellent preparation for the future as it is the site of the NCAA Championships in May. Glenn would like nothing more than to see Lake Lanier again in the spring.

"The fall season is primarily for testing out our training level and setting our base group for spring," Glenn said "With a successful weekend, we should be starting off on the right foot."

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