April 20, 2009


Courtesy of Louisville

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. - Led by a win in the varsity eight grand final, the University of Louisville rowing team won three race titles during Sunday's final day of racing at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships.

Leading the way for the Cardinals was their 17th-ranked varsity eight crew, which covered the 2,000-meter course in a time of 6 minutes, 47.80 seconds to finish seven seconds clear of second place Grand Valley State at 6:54.80. Indiana was third at 7:00.00 and was followed by Kansas State in fourth at 7:01.30, Purdue in fifth at 7:04.70 and Kansas in sixth at 7:10.10.

Louisville's second race title of the day came in the junior varsity eight grand final as the Cardinals' second varsity eight crew finished with a time of 7:06.10, more than seven seconds clear of second place Kansas at 7:13.40. Purdue was third at 7:17.40, followed by Alabama in fourth at 7:19.40 and SMU in fifth at 7:32.65.

The Cardinals' third win on Sunday came in the lightweight varsity four grand final as U of L's crew had a time of 8:08.80 to finish nine seconds ahead of second place Purdue at 8:17.80. Stetson was third at 8:40.16 and was followed by Tampa in fourth at 8:47.00 and Auburn in fifth at 8:48.30.

Also on Sunday, Louisville finished fourth in the varsity four grand final with a time of 8:07.66, while Stetson won the title with a time of 7:53.10. And in the novice eight petite final, Louisville finished fifth with a time of 8:04.60, while Purdue led the way at 7:27.60.

Up next, the Cardinals will travel to Camden, N.J., for the 2009 BIG EAST Championship.
Day One at the SIRA Championships
The Louisville rowing team opened the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships on Saturday with three crews advancing to Sunday's grand finals.

Leading the way was the Cards' No. 17 ranked varsity eight crew, which advanced to the grand final in the varsity eight event with a time of 6:35.90 across the 2,000-meter course in one of the two semifinal races. Grand Valley State was second at 6:40.77 and was followed by Indiana at 6:48.13, SMU at 6:52.48, Tulsa at 6:56.49 and West Virginia at 7:05.40.

"The varsity eight put together a solid race and we look forward to the grand finals tomorrow," said Cards' head coach Laura Fogt. "After a slightly shaky start, the eight found their rhythm and pick-up. They went through the 500-meter mark with Grand Valley and the two crews quickly separated themselves from the pack. Grand Valley was very aggressive and challenged us throughout the length of the course.

"They certainly put forth a great fight.  We were able to take two-to-three seats on them moving through the 1,300-meter mark, which set us up well for the sprint. In the last 350 meters, we were able to gain open water with a solid push to the finish line."

In one of the junior varsity eight races, the Cards' second varsity eight crew finished second with a time of 6:54.64 to advance to Sunday's grand final. Indiana won the race with a time of 6:51.50, while Purdue was third at 7:13.16. Kansas State was fourth at 7:29.45 and Florida was fifth at 7:52.27.

"Our second varsity eight crew has battled with Indiana throughout the season and we came up short on this one," Fogt said. "Indiana took the lead early and held a solid five-to-six seats on us throughout the first 1,250 meters. There were a few times where we sat and I felt we missed an opportunity to fight back into them. This gave Indiana the confidence they needed going into the second 1,000 and we weren't able to get those seats back. The grand finals tomorrow will allow for another great race."

In their varsity four semifinal, the Cards' crew finished second overall with a time of 8:01.65 to clinch a spot in Sunday's grand final. Kansas won the race with a time of 7:51.90, while Indiana was third at 8:13.14. Washington University was fourth at 8:19.56 and Alabama was fifth at 8:22.53.

In the Cards' novice eight semifinal, they finished sixth overall with a time of 7:51.11 to advance to Sunday's petite final. Indiana led the way in Saturday's semifinal race with a time of 7:07.00, while Tulsa was second at 7:16.02. Kansas was third at 7:16.22 and was followed by West Virginia at 7:25.91 and Oklahoma at 7:30.02.