INDIANAPOLIS – Barry University’s Varsity 8 advanced to the Grand Finals at the NCAA Division II Rowing Championships after winning its heat race in rainy conditions Friday at Eagle Creek Park.
The Bucs 8 of coxswain Grace Horwitz, stroke Kristina Boncheva, Anna Boada, Rosita Boncheva, Monika Kaminska, Beth Desmond, Anais Foppoli, Emma Howard and bow Kelly Harrison won its heat in 7:25.935. Central Oklahoma was second in 7:34.999. UC San Diego finished third in 7:37.033.
“I was really pleased with how the 8 handled the conditions,” Barry coach Dave Sanderson said. “I think they executed their race plan well, and came up with a good result in their heat this morning. “
The Bucs advance to Sunday’s Grand Final, and will have Saturday off.
“That was definitely what we were trying to do,” Sanderson said. “It’s good to have an extra afternoon to prepare. We’re looking forward to the racing on Sunday.”
Barry’s 4 of cox Angela Dasch, stroke Kasia Walentynowicz, Mandy Carper, Helene Pierre and bow Rebekah Kilroy finished second in its heat with a time of 8:30.628. Nova Southeastern won in 8:22.386.
“The 4 put on a really strong effort, but it wasn’t quite good enough,” Sanderson said. “We’ll be trying to refocus and improve on our performance tomorrow in the Repechage.”
The Bucs raced neck-and-neck with the Sharks through the first half of the race, holding .171 of a second lead at the 1,000-meter mark. But Nova pulled away in the final 1,000 meters.
“We do get a second chance to get into the Grand Final,” Sanderson said. “I’m sure that they’re eager to get that second chance.”
Barry will race against Mercyhurst in Saturday’s 10:20 a.m. Repechage. The winner advances to Sunday’s Grand Final.
Friday’s racing was delayed by roughly an hour due to rain.
“I’m happy we got the racing in,” Sanderson said. “It was fun to get the regatta started. We’ve been working for this all year, so it was good to get off to a good start.”
Watch Saturday's Repechage by clicking HERE.