Women's Rowing Hopes to Continue Streak at SIRA Championship

April 15, 2005

ORLANDO - The UCF women's rowing team is focused on continuing its hot streak when it travels to Oakridge, Tenn. for the 2005 Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championships on April 16 and 17.

The Golden Knights are enjoying one of their most successful seasons in the 10 years since being elevated to varsity status. On Tuesday, they earned their first ever team ranking in the NCAA Division I South Region Poll, landing in fifth.

UCF's success has been thanks in part to a strong effort by the Varsity Eight boat, which was ranked in a tie for fifth with Texas in the South Region I Eights Poll. The crew of Caitlin Pauls, Kyla Smith, Tanya Kleisler, Melissa Westhoff, Amy Price, Krystina Sarff, Katherine Motes, Mary Rosser and coxswain Lisa Beltran faces tough competition in Louisville, Kansas State and Southern Methodist in their event this weekend. The Cardinals, who are listed at fourth in the region, are seeded at No. 1 with the Knights at No. 2.

The Junior Varsity Eight races against a similar lineup with Kansas State and Louisville included.

While the Varsity Lightweight Eight takes on Dayton in a two-boat race, the Varsity Four - which features Hawley Jervis, Erin Wiegers, Alex Guillermety, Nicole Szwanke and cox Kim Swift - will be in one of three qualifying heats due to the large number of entries. The top three advance to the semi-finals then the top two from each semifinal moves to the grand final.

The Golden Knights also have three novice entries involved in two races as the Novice Lightweight Eight and the Second Novice Eight will go head-to-head in the "B" event.

The UCF Probable Lineups for the 2005 SIRA Championship are as follows:

Varsity Eight: Caitlin Pauls (stroke), Kyla Smith, Tanya Kleisler, Melissa Westhoff, Amy Price, Krystina Sarff, Katherine Motes, Mary Rosser, Lisa Beltran (cox).

Junior Varsity Eight: Maya Fluharty (stroke), Christine Richardville, Becky Meale, Kristin Roach, Cassandra Long, Brittney Kusner, Christy Collier, April Verpoorten, Heather Brooks (cox).

Varsity Lightweight Eight: Robin Capers (stroke), Melissa Kroll , Lindsay Wood, Lauren Rice, Pamela Wall, Jennifer Frye, Janae Corrado, Laura Brad, Stephanie Mangone (cox).

Novice Lightweight Eight: Jenna Minter (stroke), Heather Hichborn, Laura Bacci, Kelly Verrando, Ashley Hamon, Natalie Schneider, Lauren Kelley, Anne Marie Rossi, Marcia Kielar (cox).

Novice Eight: Kayla Reiff (stroke), Jessica Lorne, Laurel Elmore, Erin Riegel, Vanessa Santana, Megan Kranz, Katrina Gavette, Katie Fulton, Jennifer Brooks (cox).

Second Novice Eight: Eleni Roussos (stroke), Amanda Mergo, Kaley Johnson, Jill Cook, Allyse Cruz, Alexis D'Angelo, Sarah Prusinowski, Elizabeth Rueter, TBA (cox).

Varsity Four: Hawley Jervis (stroke), Erin Wiegers, Alex Guillermety, Nicole Szwanke, Kim Swift (cox).

Varsity Spares: Erika Frantz, Katie Loftus

Novice Spares: Liana Palenzuela, Ebone Martin