Horwitz

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Barry won the Sunshine State Conference Championships regatta on Friday to claim the program's fifth league title.

The Buccaneers narrowly edged Nova Southeastern in the team standings, finishing with 18 points to the Sharks' 17. Tampa was third with 10 points.

"It's awesome, I've been waiting three years for this," Barry's veteran coxswain Grace Horwitz said. "Senior year, it couldn't be a better time."

Barry won the Varsity 8 race in a season-best 6:34.2, beating Nova by 1.4 seconds. The Sharks held an early lead in the first 500 meters, but the Bucs crew of Horwitz, stroke Kristina Boncheva, Anna Boada, Rosie Boncheva, Monika Kaminska, Beth Desmond, Anais Foppoli, Emma Howard and bow Kelly Harrison, pushed ahead.

The Buccaneers maintained a slight lead on the 2,000-meter buoyed course at Nathan Benderson Park. But Nova kept pushing, never allowing the Bucs to gain a full boat-length lead. Barry held off the Sharks at the finish line by roughly four seats.

"The finish was exciting," Horwitz said. "I knew we were going to stay on top of them, but they kept inching back. We just kept pushing and pushing. We pushed hard enough to stay that second ahead. It's going to be a close race the next time we race them."

Florida Tech was third, finishing 32.8 seconds behind the Bucs.

Barry's victory gave the Buccaneers12 points in the team standings. Nova's second-place finish earned them nine points.

Barry's 4 finished second behind Nova with a time of 7:43.3. The Sharks won the race in 7:36.0. Tampa was third in 7:51.6. Nova's Novice/B team had a time of 7:41.0, but did not earn any points for the team standings for the race.

The Sharks' 4 collected 8 points, while Barry earned six.