Varsity Eight Advances to Grand Final at South/Central Sprints

May 12, 2007

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OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (www.UCFAthletics.com) - The No. 11-ranked UCF varsity eight advanced to the grand final as the women's rowing team competed in day one of the Aramark South/Central Sprints at Melton Lake on Saturday.

The Knights' boat, which consisted of coxswain Katie Chapman, Caitlin Pauls, Krystina Sarff, Stephanie Pauls, Tara Rogers, Tanis Franchuk, Melissa Westhoff, Stephanie Adams and Erin Riegel, earned a spot in the A/B semifinal by placing second behind No. 5 Virginia in its morning heat.

In the afternoon semifinal, UCF stayed just behind No. 17 Tennessee in the first 1,000m, before No. 7 Minnesota also pulled in front at the halfway mark. No. 19 Louisville jumped ahead of the Knights going into the last 250 meters, but UCF was able to overtake the Cardinals at the end, finishing in 6:55.58. Louisville finished at fourth with a time of 6:56.16.

"I am so proud of how the varsity eight raced today," said UCF head coach Leeanne Crain. "They kept their composure and maintained their focus throughout the race. It's always a challenge to exchange a lead with another crew and take it back in the last strokes. They proved today that they can race under pressure."

The Knights face Minnesota, Tennessee, Virginia, No. 12 Ohio State and No. 2 Notre Dame in Sunday's grand final.

UCF's entries in the other four races made the afternoon's A/B semifinals before grabbing spots in Sunday's petite final.

The open four was fourth in its semifinal at 8:43.64, while novice eight took fifth at 7:32.67. Both the varsity four and second varsity eight were sixth in their semifinal races.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports.