MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- Barry University's rowing crew won both races Saturday in the Barry-Nova Dual on the intracoastal waterway.
The Buccaneers Varsity 8+ (coxswain Gracie Horwitz, stroke Kristina Boncheva, Anna Boada, Rosita Boncheva, Monika Kaminska, Bethany Desmond, Anais Foppoli, Emma Howard and bow Kelly Harrison) beat the Sharks with a time of 6:44.9 on the 2,000-meter course. Nova Southeastern finished in 6:56.7.
Last year's race between the two 8s came down to a photo finish, with host Nova Southeastern winning by .04 seconds in Hollywood, Fla.
"It's easy to be jazzed up for this race," Harrison said. "I don't think anybody felt nervous. We were just talking about putting ourselves in a good position."
That the Bucs' 8 did in winning their fourth race of the season over the past three weekends.
"It felt really comfortable," Boncheva said. "We just started really confident. We made a decision to race really fast. There wasn't any hesitation or lows."
The Bucs Varsity 4+ (cox Angela Dasch, stroke Kasia Walentynowicz, Helene Pierre, Mandy Carper and bow Rebekah Kilroy) won with a time of 7:54.3. Nova Southeastern crossed the finish in 7:59.8.
In a tight race over the final 500 meters, the Bucs 4 pulled away at the end.
"The 4 did a good job of pushing today. Both boats did a good job of pushing," Barry coach Dave Sanderson said. "There were really no dead spots in the race today. They did a really good job of racing the full 2,000 meters. I think both boats were very focused, and raced very aggressively. We tried to work on some very specific things in practice throughout the week, and then we were able to translate that into good racing."
Throughout the week, as is the custom before every race, the Buccaneers ran through different scenarios and how to respond as they visualized the race playing itself out. After getting the result her team sought, Boncheva said the next step is to go faster.
"We'd like to go faster, at least a little, every race," she said.
"A few seconds doesn't seem like that much to everybody else, but it is," Harrison added.
Next weekend, the Bucs compete at the FIRA Championships at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota on the same course Barry will host the Sunshine State Conference Championships April 26. The FIRA Championships is a two-day regatta with a larger competition field. It will mark the Bucs' first big regatta of the season
"It'll be exciting to race with six boats across," Harrison said. "It'll be so much more adrenaline."
Of course, racing against the Sharks on days like Saturday carries its own motivation.
"It's always a big deal for the girls when we race against Nova," Sanderson said. "It's something we look forward to. Certainly, it's one of the highlights of the spring. They raced hard, and I'm really proud of them. But we've got a lot of work to do."
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Boat Split Finish
1. Barry 6:44.9
2. Nova SE 11.8 6:56.7
1. Barry 7:54.3
2. Nova SE 5.53 7:59.8