UC Davis Battles Through Rain And Wind To Sweep D.I.R.T.

The UC Davis varsity eight rows strong during its season-opening race on Sunday. <br> (Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
The UC Davis varsity eight rows strong during its season-opening race on Sunday.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)

March 5, 2006

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Rain and tough wind provided led to poor racing conditions for the UC Davis women's rowing team on Sunday morning at the Port of Sacramento but the Aggies were still able to sweep wins in varsity eight, second varsity eight and novice eight races at the Davis Invitational Rowing Tournament.

The races marked the beginning of the 2006 season for the Aggies, who hosted UC Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Sonoma State and California Maritime. The weather altered racing with varsity and novice four events cancelled due to the poor conditions.

As rain and wind buffeted the 2,000-meter course, the varsity eight opened the morning with a nine-second victory. UC Davis, which led for most of the race, finished in 8 minutes, 7 seconds, well ahead of second-place UC Santa Barbara which crossed in 8:16. Santa Clara was third in 8:25 and Sonoma State finished fourth in 8:37.

"We had a solid first race," said UC Davis head coach Emily Plesser. "The conditions were really poor but the team performed well under the circumstances."

The second varsity eight rows here during its victory on Sunday.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)

Racing in the varsity eight boat for the Aggies were coxswain Katherine Cobarrubia, Cassie Drotman at stroke, Rebecca Maier at seven, May Roberts at six, Vanessa Cuellar at five, Adina Farkash at four, Laura Kelleher at three, Amber Buntin at two and Ashley Lawrence at bow.

The second varsity followed with an easy win its dual with UC Santa Barbara, clocking a time of 8:51, more than a minute ahead of the Gauchos. UCSB finished well back in 10:15.

In the second varsity eight boat for UC Davis were coxswain Niaree Hopelian, Angela Bruno at stroke, Erica Southard at seven, Sarah Kay at six, Sunny Caldwell at five, Heidi Okowitz at four, Reva Birnbaum at three, Kalie Benson at two and Erin Andrews at bow.

The novice eight had the most exciting victory of the morning, trailing Santa Clara throughout much of the race before rallying late to edge the Broncos and Sonoma State. The Aggies finished in 8:20, just ahead of Santa Clara which crossed in 8:22 and Sonoma State who was timed in 8:24. UC Santa Barbara was a distant fourth in 9:02.

The UC Davis novice eight rally here for a close win over Santa Clara.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)

Racing in the novice eight were coxswain Monica Drazba, Katie Foley at stroke, Angela Hatch at seven, Sarah Schulze at six, Libby Painter at five, Anna Lung at four, Stacey Biggers at three, Melissa Fletcher at two and Amelia Lancaster at bow.

"It was nice to see the novice eight come from behind and win the race," said Aggies assistant coach and novice coach Carissa Adams. "This shows that these women rowed with heart. All boats performed well in this early season race and are looking forward to continuing to make improvements in their technique and race strategies for future races."

UC Davis will race on its home course at Port of Sacramento again on Saturday when it hosts San Diego State.

Port of Sacramento, Calif.

VARSITY EIGHT - 1. UC Davis, 8:07; 2. UC Santa Barbara, 8:16; 3. Santa Clara, 8:25; 4. Sonoma State, 8:37.

SECOND VARSITY EIGHT - 1. UC Davis, 8:51; 2. UC Santa Barbara, 10:15.

NOVICE EIGHT - 1. UC Davis, 8:20; 2. Santa Clara, 8:22; 3. Sonoma State, 8:24; 4. UC Santa Barbara, 9:02.