2013 SIRA Regatta Race Preview

Posted on Posted in Member's Content, Race Preview

The Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) hosts the first championship regatta on the Tribe’s schedule.  Set on Melton Lake in beautiful Oakridge, Tennessee, this is one of the premier rowing venues in the country.  Not suprisingly, “SIRAs” is usually very well attended.  The Tribe is looking to make some noise on a national stage by bringing home some medals this weekend. A preliminary schedule can be seen here

Novice Women:
In 2006, WMRC novice women 8+ won this event. This year, the tribe women will look to repeat that accomplishment. The top three finishers from heats will advance to competitive semifinals. The girls should be able to accomplish this feat as they are racing Liberty, James Madison, Murray State, Emory, and Oklahoma City (where former WMRC coach and friend Travis Hall now coaches).

Women’s Novice 8 
Coxswain: Mairin Haley
8: Claire Goydan
7: Jessie Viss
6: Kate Mott
5: Kelsey Mix
4: Arielle Galston
3: Camila Fishtahler
2: Lauren Piulson
Bow: Alex Coffey

Novice Men:
The men’s heavy novice 4 will face Miami-Ohio, Washington University in St. Louis, Rollins and Dayton. The tribe will need to finish in the top 3 of their race to advance (or post a sufficiently fast time across the 5 heats). This event is hard to predict, as small schools may prioritize this event with their top 4 rowers. Additionally, the Tribe has never faced any of these schools yet this year. These boys are racing in the Sean Gillick shell which has been starboard rigged. This means that the stroke seat is a starboard rower. Convention for boats in the United States tends to be port rigged. However, there are multiple reasons to switch to a starboard rigging as this can help balance power differences between rowers and place a reliable starboard rower in the “lead” position of the boat.

The men’s novice light 4 have already advanced to semifinals as there are only 9 entries in their event. They will face the College of Charleston, Tampa, Murray State, and High Point. A finish of 3rd or better will get these boys to the final. The College of Charleston tends to prioritize these smaller events and has recently medaled in the men’s lightweight 4 events. The lights will be racing in the newly christened Beth Covin.

Men’s Novice Heavy 4+
Cox: Nic Querlo ’16
Stroke: Will Emmons ’16
3: Jack Bramley ’15
2: Martin Liu ’16
Bow: Jamal Usmani ’16

Men’s Novice Light 4+
Cox: Katie Oberg ’16
Stroke: Scott Klein ’15
3: Marshall Irby ’16
2: Adam Mullet ’15
Bow: Will Plews-Ogan ’15

Varsity Women:
The varsity women will prioritize the premier event, the varsity eight. The Tribe will face a stiff challenge to advance from heats, facing Clemson, Ohio, number eight seeds Wichita State and Florida, and number one seed Purdue. Out of the those crews, the top three will advance (with the next six fastest times advancing). Wichita State and Clemson are varsity programs, and the other large schools have a fine tradition in the sport.

Women’s Varsity 8
Cox: Cathy Merrit
Stroke: Christine Laroche
7: Kate Nolan
6: Jessica Beckett
5: Ashley Koontz
4: Erin Brown
3: Kate Kalaris
2: Kalan Brehm
Bow: Tiara Jackson

Varsity Men:

The men will be rowing an of eight and a four. Last year, the lightweight men finished 4th, just shy of medalling. Anxious to improve upon this result and eager to race against other lightweights for the first time this season, the lightweight men have been looking forward to SIRAs for some time. However, the lack of entries in the lightweight 8 event has forced the race organizers to move WM and Purdue’s lightweight 8s into the JV8 event. Here, the Tribe will yet again row against heavyweights. Last year, the JV8 was won by Virginia, followed by Grand Valley and Temple.  It’s worth mentioning that top lightweight crews can easily attain times comparable to their JV counterparts (a comparison of last year’s winning times for both events confirms this). But, the depth in the JV8 event is usually much larger than in the lightweight categories. Thus, WMRC will face consistent challenges from fast crews in the qualifying races. In order to advance to the A final, the tribe will need to finish first or second in their heat against large schools like Notre Dame and varsity funded programs Virginia and Delaware-no small feat for these lighter rowers. Finishing 3rd or 4th in this race will put the tribe out of medal contention and into the B final. If they finish last, the VL8 will not get to race again at this regatta. Senior Jamie Lewis succeeded in the novice 4+ his freshman year with a third place finish. He’ll be looking to cap his SIRAs experience with another medal.

Additionally, the Varsity Men are entering a heavyweight 4+.  This is the most popular event, as almost every school, big and small, able to field a V4. To win this event shows true talent and consistency, as each race matters. In order to advance to the semifinals, the tribe will need to beat out three of the following crews: Wake Forest, VCU, Vanderbilt, Kansas State, and Duke. This crew has already finished ahead of VCU at Rockett’s Landing.

Men’s Varsity 8 (Lightweights)
Cox: Olivia Walton
8: Ryan Fliss (Sr)
7: Connor Kee (Jr)
6: Bryan Monroe (Jr)
5: Connor Finch (Sr)
4: Alex Sullivan (Sr)
3: Jamie Lewis (Sr)
2: Matt Everett (Jr)
Bow: Logan Ferrell (So)

Men’s Varsity 4
Cox: Emma Cleary (Fr)
Stroke: Danny Otto (Jr)
3: David Barnisin (Jr)
2: David Wasserstein (Jr)
Bow: Chris Stephens (Jr)