Crew First and Second Varsity Eight Both Place Third at Donahue Cup

Crew First and Second Varsity Eight Both Place Third at Donahue Cup

WORCESTER, Mass. -- The Simmons University women's crew First and Second Varsity Eight squads finished behind nationally-ranked Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Williams College to place third this morning at the Donahue Cup on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. 

The first varsity eight turned in a time of 7:47.52 to place third on the 2000-meter course, racing with a 10-15 mile per hour headwind. Number two WPI placed first with a mark of 7:17.04, finishing ahead of number three Williams' time of 7:27.56. The Sharks finished ahead of Connecticut College by over 11 seconds and University of Rochester.

Senior coxswain Melissa Morton (Somers, Conn.) guided the Sharks. Sophomore stroke Samantha Kelsey (Salt Lake City, Utah) set the pace, followed by first year Emily Niemi (Santa Clarita, Calif.), sophomore Steffi Gaehde (Brookline, Mass.), senior Peizhu Pam Qian (Beijing, China/Developing Virtue Secondary Girls School (Calif.)), junior Sabrina Belozerova (Newton, Mass.), junior Hannah Dike (Leominster, Mass.), senior Nicole Lee (North Reading, Mass.) and first year bow Maggie O'Byrne (Boston, Mass.)
 
"The one-V had a very strong race today," explained Morton. "We fought our way up to third place through the first 1000 meters and stayed competitive through the second half. Our sprint was very strong and we continued to walk away from Conn College and Rochester. So excited to see what tomorrow holds at the Clark Invitational!"
 
The second varsity shell placed third behind first place Williams (7:42.39) and second place WPI (7:44.07) with a mark of 8:35.61 to finish almost 12 seconds ahead of Connecticut College. Junior coxswain Ally Fecteau (Burlington, Conn.) directed the eight ahead of first year stroke Maude Elovitz (Lake Oswego, Ore.), first year Kat Jones (Methuen, Mass.), junior Lily Pennington (Watertown, Mass.), senior Eleanor Pullan (Northampton, Mass.), first year Jen Li-Barry (Santa Barbera, Calif.), senior Christine Yu (Plainville, Mass.), junior Rebecca Ramsey (Jefferson, Mass.) and first year bow Maya Wyse (Singapore).
 
Fecteau remarked about the shell's improvement from a week ago saying, "The two-V had an amazing race compared to last week. They battled through the headwind and were neck and neck with Conn College through the 1000-meter mark we then started to pull away, coming in third at the finish with open water between us and Conn College."
 
Simmons third varsity eight finished fourth in the morning's race with a time of 9:49.90, finishing behind Williams (8:13.10), WPI (8:43.40) and Connecticut College (9:18.94). 
 
The eight consisted primarily of first year rowers with rookie coxswain Ginny Strasser (Cambridge, Mass.) guiding the way. First year Chloe Janes (Brookline, Mass.) rowed from the stroke seat, ahead of sophomore April Miller (Newton, N.H.), first years Anna Boyles (Ridgeland, Miss.)Jess Banafato (Durham, N.H.)Kathryn Armour (Shrewsbury, Mass.)Rachel Matz (Washington, D.C.), junior Chloe Feuerstein (Winchester, Mass.) and first year bow Mackenzie Gondek (Waban, Mass.)
 
"We pushed hard through wild wind and did really well keeping a great boat mentality," said Strasser.
 
The Sharks return to the water tomorrow to compete in the Clark Invitational on Lake Quinsigamond.