The Tennessee women's rowing team competed in Oak Ridge, on Saturday,

April 15, at the 2000 Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association

Championships on Melton Hill Lake and put in some impressive performances

on the water.

Conditions were nearly ideal, as winds were calm and the water proved

smooth for the competitors from over 50 squads from around the

country.

UT's freshman/novice 4+ hit the water first at 7:37 a.m. and took second

place in its heat with a time of 8:31.50. The top three shells from each

heat advanced to the semis, where the Lady Vols placed third with a

clocking of 8:40.90, earning the squad a trip to the petite final on Sunday

at 8:25 a.m.

Next up, the Tennessee freshman/novice 8+ claimed second place (7:32.50) in

its heat, and would later cross the buoys in its semifinal race in fourth

position (7:40.90). The fourth-place finish would not net the squad a

chance to run again on Sunday.

The next boat to power down Melton Hill Lake was the junior varsity 8+, and

its time of 7:28.30 was good for fourth place, again placing a Lady Vol

crew in the petite finals at 9:25 a.m. on Sunday.

In the varsity 4+, Tennessee placed third with a time of 8:18.70, and would

advance to the semis. UT's fifth-place semifinal finish (8:29.90) did not

allow the Lady Vol squad to continue to either the petite or grand

finals.

In the women's varsity 8+, UT had a strong showing in its heat, taking

second place with a clocking of 7:13.50. The semifinal would be equally

impressive, as the crew notched a time of 7:22.20.

The fourth-place finish did not grant the team entrance into the grand

final, but did grant the varsity 8+ squad confidence. On March 25,

Tennessee went head-to-head with the varsity 8+ crew from Clemson

University and trailed the Tigers at the finish by six seconds.

Today, that margin was closed dramatically, as UT finished behind Clemson's

second-place crew by a mere 1.5 seconds.

In a side note to the varsity 8+ competition, the top three finishing teams

in each semifinal advanced to the grand final. UT finished in fourth in its

semi at 7:22.20, but the third-place team in the second semifinal, Purdue,

crossed the line at 7:29.6.

Despite beating the Boilermaker's time by 7.4 seconds, teams are advanced

by overall finish, not by recorded times.

"We had good competitive races, and are competing at the level right now

which we should be," said head Tennessee rowing coach Lisa Glenn.

"But when you are placed in a fast heat, it can work against you. If the

seeding had been more accurate, both the junior varsity eight and the

varsity eight would be in the grand finals."

The junior varsity 4+ raced extremely well, led by senior coxswain Laura

Thompson, and won its heat with a time of 8:28.20. That squad would advance

to the JV 4+ finals on Saturday afternoon and take home a silver medal by

finishing in second place with an 8:41.10 clip.

Roberta Hern, Bre Sweet and Brittany Brewer provided the thrust in the

effort.

Finally, the freshman/novice "B" boat crossed the line in fourth position

(7:58.20), but did not advance to the afternoon's final.