Women's Rowing Earns Silver Medal in Collegiate 4+ to Highlight Program Debut at Rowtoberfest

First-year head coach Bart Thompson gives his Women's Collegiate 4+ boat words of encouragement before launch, eventually capturing a silver-medal in the race. (Action photo provided)
First-year head coach Bart Thompson gives his Women's Collegiate 4+ boat words of encouragement before launch, eventually capturing a silver-medal in the race. (Action photo provided)

CHICAGO--The Adrian College women's rowing program competed in its first-ever event over the weekend, beginning the 2018-19 season with a second-place finish at the Rowtoberfest Regatta at Clark Park on the Chicago River, hosted by the Chicago Rowing Foundation.

In the women’s collegiate 4+, the Adrian “A” entry of freshmen Allie Saff, Emily Reese, Hannah Heller, Grace Cool and coxswain Athena Flaishans finished in second place—just 1.5 seconds behind the winning time from Drake University (17:00.3)—with a clocking of 17 minutes and 1.8 seconds, while the “B” entry of freshman Kara Geyer, junior Maddie Maloney, freshmen Madi Boettcher, Abby Deslippe and coxswain Ethan Powell finished eighth at 22:06.08.

“Our ‘A’ entry barely missed out on gold, finishing second only to Drake, a Division I varsity program," stated head coach Bart Thompson, who was hired on April 24, 2017, to build both Adrian Men's and Women's Rowing from scratch. "Meanwhile, our ‘B’ entry was composed entirely of novices who handled themselves very well for their first-ever rowing race. They also beat the ‘B’ entry from North Park University, a conference rival, which was a big accomplishment. This was probably the race result I was most impressed by."

In the Bulldogs’ last race of the day, the women’s collegiate 8+, Adrian’s lone entry of Saff, Reese, Heller, Maloney, and freshmen Olivia Fox, Geyer, Kacie Salon, Cool Flaishans (coxswain) barely missed out on a medal, finishing fourth with a time of 16:58.4.

“Our women’s 8+ was in a very difficult field, so to finish in fourth—the top half of the field—with a boat featuring three new novices was an impressive feat,” Thompson added.

The Bulldogs’ next scheduled regatta was supposed to be the Head of the Rock, in Rockford, Ill, next Sunday. However, the race has been canceled due to flooding in the area. Coach Thompson noted that the team is still trying to determine what its weekend would look like in lieu of the regatta.

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