The Tennessee women’s rowing team competed against a visiting Wisconsin team last Saturday in Oak Ridge on a windy Melton Lake Hill.

UT placed first in two of the five races.

The Lady Vols won the varsity 8+ and the second varsity 8+, and they also gained experience with wind on a course where they will host the Aramark South/Central Region Championships on May 15 and16.

“I thought it was a really good racing experience for us,” Lady Vol head coach Lisa Glenn said. “From a weather condition standpoint, it was kind of a quiet first round for us, and in the second round, there was a pretty strong-crossed tailwind. It is pretty nice to race in those kinds of good weather conditions and against a team we will see in the regionals.”

UT started the day off posting a time of 6:40.8 in the V8+, winning by almost eight seconds, and they also won the second flight of the V8+ with a time of 6:35.0 by almost six seconds.

The Lady Vols also won both flights of the 2V8+ with times of 6:49.2 and 7:00.7, respectively, but they also finished both races by an average margin of 30 seconds faster than the Lady Badgers.

“Overall, I thought it went really well,” senior Sydney Newman said. “The rowers handled doing two races in a row extremely well. We get pretty spoiled with the weather, but we did a good job in handling the conditions.”

Wisconsin was victorious in the third varsity 4+, a 1,000 meter race. The Lady Vols entered three boats into the 3V4+, but they all finished in third, fourth and fifth place. Wisconsin’s best time was 4:00.2.

The Lady Badgers were also triumphant in the third varsity 8+ and fourth varsity 8+. They finished the first flight of the 4V8+ with a time of 7:00.8, compared to UT’s 7:16.8. The second flight of the 4V8+ stopped short at 1,500 meters due to rain, with Wisconsin already holding a significant lead.

Tennessee was privileged to race in the good weather and water conditions.

“We are pretty spoiled on our river,” senior Katie Ross said. “It was a lot different weather than we are accustomed to… In the second race, a big gust came in, and I thought it was a great learning experience on how we handle it.”

Ross admitted that despite the windy weather, there was still a race to be won.

“It is still a race,” Ross said. “You have to just keep fighting through the conditions. Every boat has the same conditions, so there is an equal playing field.”

The Lady Vols will have the current week off before splitting up. The novices will return back to Oak Ridge on April 17 to participate in the Southeast Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regatta. The varsity rowers will travel west to Sacramento, Calif. to face No. 4 California on April 17 and 18.

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