By Larry Snyder
NEVILLE TOWNSHIP, Pa. – For the second consecutive meet, the Varsity 8 crew of the Robert Morris Women’s Rowing team finished first in their race on Saturday, April 3, against the Marietta College Pioneers. The event was the first of two home matchups this season at the Midge McPhail Boathouse, part of the RMU Island Sports Center.
RMU’s determined Varsity 8 oars, led by freshman coxswain Sebastiana Lopez, sliced through the waters of the Ohio River and finished the 2,000-meter race with a winning mark of 6:29. Marietta completed their run with a time of 6:45.0. The Colonials Second Varsity 8, under junior coxswain Harley Beckey, came across the finish line in third at 6:59.1. Robert Morris’s first-year head coach Carol Schoenecker saw her Third Varsity 8 unit, guided by junior coxswain Isabelle Neville, wrap up the course at 7:23.4.
A series of two-minute sprint challenges faced the RMU Novice Eight shell, piloted by sophomore coxswain Julia Olshansky, against Marietta. The Colonials and Pioneers exchanged victories.
Varsity 8 – Kia Kaha: Coxswain – Sebastiana Lopez; 8 – Rachel Gress (SR); 7 – Mary Woods (JR); 6 – Madyson Orlando (JR); 5 – Madelyn Green (SR); 4 – Marissa Beck (JR); 3 – Christina Brunette (Soph); 2 – Nicole Kristof (SR); 1 – Hannah Fowler (Fresh).
Second Varsity 8 – Kakou: Coxswain – Harley Beckey; 8 – Kaitlyn Grubbs (JR); 7 – Alanna Schlaeger (Fresh); 6 – Sydney Eaton (Soph); 5 – Kathryn Gronek (Soph); 4 – Emily Kerry (Soph); 3 – Francesca Barchetti (SR); 2 – Maria Ringo (Soph); 1 – Addison Grieco (JR)
Third Varsity 8 – Hei Matau: Coxswain – Isabelle Neville; 8 – Ashley Moreland (Fresh); 7 – Alana Eckels (JR); 6 – Maraea Ody (Fresh); 5 – Amilia Rosa (JR); 4 – Kendall Veach (Fresh); 3 – Payton Janovich (Soph); 2 – Farah Mohamed (Soph); 1 – Hannah Wandoff (Soph).
Novice 8 – Hei Matau: Coxswain – Julia Olshansky; 8 – Ashley Moreland (Fresh); 7 – Kendall Veach (Fresh); 6 – Wanjiru Mwasi (Soph); 5 – Christina Brunette (Soph); 4 – Payton Janovich (Soph); 3 – Haley Nangle (Fresh); 2 – Farah Mohamed (Soph); 1 – Abigail Zeisloft (JR).
Last week, after an approximate 17-month layoff, Schoenecker watched her Varsity 8 return to competition and collected the gold, Sunday, March 28, with a time of 6:58.50 during the Occoquan Sprints. Junior coxswain Jayme Sanner directed the Second Varsity 8 to silver with a time of 7:31.08 in their contest. The Tri-Team Regatta was at Sandy Run Regional Park in Fairfax Station, Virginia. The George Mason University Patriots were the hosts with the Loyola University Greyhounds from Maryland in attendance.
Schoenecker, who served as an assistant coach at RMU for four seasons, spoke with Assistant Athletic Director Jim Duzyk on the team website about the opening week triumph in Virginia. “I’m constantly impressed with how well this team is able to adapt to any situation, which included a series of last minute lineup changes. What today shows more than anything else is the incredible depth we have as a program and the desire these women have to keep building speed.”
NEXT UP: The Colonials are back in the water Sunday, April 25, with its annual visit to Buffalo, New York, taking part in the Black Rock Cup, hosted by Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference member, the Canisius College Golden Griffin. It is at the West Side Rowing Club, with Tonawanda Creek serving as the alternate site.
Robert Morris celebrates Senior Day in their second home match, Saturday, May 8, against Allegheny County rival, the Duquesne University Dukes.