WEST WINDSOR, N.J. — The Temple women's rowing team closed out the 2014-15 season with a solid day of racing at the 2015 American Athletic Conference Championships on Lake Mercer on Sunday. The Owls won three medals at the event, placing fourth overall in the final point total.
Head Coach Rebecca Smith Grzybowski
was pleased with the overall effort by the team. "It was a solid day across the board," she said. "We stepped up in categories that we medaled in last year, to earn better medals this year. We also had our first medal in an NCAA event with the varsity four collecting bronze, which was fantastic, they had a great last 500."
Five of the six Temple boats advanced to grand finals at the event, with the sixth boat, the varsity eight, missing the grand final by just .224. The Owls grabbed gold in the third varsity eight, silver in the third varsity four, and bronze in the varsity four.
Three events counted towards the NCAA qualifying standards, the varsity eight, second varsity eight, and varsity four. Leading the way for the Owls in that category was the varsity four boat. Seeded fourth after the time trials, the Owls were fifth at the half-way point of the grand final. However, a furious sprint finish in the final 500m catapulted Temple into bronze medal position. The Owls combined for a time of of 7:41.560 to pass conference champion, UCF, as well as San Diego State, and SMU.
In the second varsity eight event, Temple finished fourth in the time trials, holding that position in the grand finals. The Owls finished in 7:01.307, well ahead of UConn and San Diego State.
Temple's varsity eight had a tough time trial race, opening the day with a seventh place finish. The crew was just .224 off of Villanova for the last spot in the grand finals. Racing in the petite final, the Owls redeemed themselves with an open-water victory over UConn, tallying a final time of 6:50.754, which ranked as the fifth-fastest varsity eight final time, but placed them seventh overall.
Three other races allowed the Owls to rack up their fourth-place point total, as the team advanced to the grand finals in the second and third varsity four, and third varsity eight events. Leading the way for Temple was the gold-medal winning third varsity eight. The Owls won the morning time trial, and then posted a time of 7:04.843, 10 seconds faster than their nearest competitor, to win the grand final.
Temple grabbed a silver medal at the third varsity level. The crew opened the day with a second-place finish in the time trial, and then took second in the grand final in a time of 8:08.153. The Owls were less than three seconds off the pace of Tulsa, and out-lasted UConn and UCF in the event.
Wrapping up the highlights for the Owls, the second varsity four took fifth place in the grand final. Temple recorded a final time of 8:17.367 in the event."It's really good be part of a conference that is as fast as ours, because if we do well here, we know where we stack up," added Grzybowski. "Overall, it was a strong day or the program and it bodes well for the future."
Picking up All-Conference honors for Temple were seniors Moira Meekes
, Annie Buckley
, and Erin Matz
. Meekes earned first-team honors, while Buckley and Matz were named to the second team.
UCF scored 198 points to win the team championship, while Tulsa was second with 189 points. Sacramento State took third with 160 points followed by Temple (107), SMU (91), San Diego State (88), UConn (70) and Villanova (52).Results
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