Bucs Rowing Capture SSC Championships

Bucs Rowing Capture SSC Championships
Barry rowing won the Sunshine State Conference championship, marking the program's fifth in school history. Photo by Jim Hogue

Coxswain Gracie Horwitz Interview

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Barry University's rowing team won the Sunshine State Conference Championships regatta Friday to claim the program's fifth league title and the school's 52nd overall.

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 on a day that featured calm water. 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.

"What a race in the V8, for sure," Sanderson said. "The 4 also rowed a strong race, and should be proud of their effort. It was their fastest time of the spring."

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.

"We've got a lot of work to do," Bucs coach Dave Sanderson said.

Following the race, Horwitz was tossed into the water in a customary act of celebration for the championship crew.

"The water was fine as I got thrown in," Horwitz said with a chuckle. "It was not as deep as I thought. It's a tradition that coxswains get thrown in, so I got thrown in."

The Buccaneers will compete in the Dad Vail regatta May 10-11 in Philadelphia.

"I am very proud of our girls for racing tough and rising to the challenge," Sanderson said. "The team is eager to get back to training and preparing for the next race."


 Event #1Women's V  4+ Final 
 TeamSplitFinishSSC Points Value 
1NOVA SOUTHEASTERN        07:36.08 
ExhNOVA (B) - Novice00:05.007:41.00 
 Event #2Women's V  8+ Final 
 TeamSplitFinishSSC Points Value 
1BARRY        06:34.212 
2NOVA SOUTHEASTERN00:01.406:35.69 
3FL. TECH00:32.807:07.00* 
 Team4+ Points8+ PointsTotal Points 
1Barry University61218 
2Nova Southeastern8917 
3University of Tampa4610 
4Florida Tech*000 
5Rollins College*000 
*  NOTE - "Non-team" boats do not get points - the points go to the next place "team" boat instead 


Barry's Grace Horwitz (coxswain)
Barry's Kristina Boncheva
Barry's Anna Boada
Barry's Monika Kaminska
Nova Southeastern's Lauren Boudreau
Nova Southeastern's Amber Morrell
Tampa's Melissa Ciesielski
Florida Tech's Taylor Barvais
Rollins' Haddie DeHart
Barry's Beth Desmond
Florida Tech's Jordan Ursch
Nova Southeastern's Tori Torrisi
Rollins' Kelly Johnson
Tampa's Ashia Bales