Feb. 27, 2008
National rankings. First-place trophies. Postseason accolades. They all blanketed the UCF rowing program like a tidal wave in 2006-07. Along with the impressive results against extremely competitive schools, the varsity eight boat earned the Black and Gold's first berth in the NCAA Championships.
So how can the Knights duplicate their memorable season?
"With incoming transfers, former novices and key players from other lineups bringing more speed, the intensity of the team has increased," said interim head coach Becky Frost. "The team has come together and maintained momentum because of the competition for seats in the top lineups. With more depth of talent on this year's roster, each lineup challenges the others and we expect success from all the boats we put on the water."
Along with a boost of talent to the 2008 roster, those Knights that are returning this season hope to build on their run to the NCAA Championships.
"It was an honor to be one of the at-large eights, and the athletes who competed at NCAAs in 2007 learned a great deal," said Frost. "Now our goal is to build on the experience and the success of our varsity eight and be a contender as a full team."
Achieving that goal includes maintaining a very high national ranking. The coaching staff realizes, though, that the Knights should not concentrate on polls, but keep their focus on each regatta instead.
"The team is very grounded this year in regards to rankings, and they understand the competition is very different this year," admitted Frost. "They know the importance of not getting caught up in the weekly polls but to produce results on the water and to remain consistent."
A Look at the Varsity Eight
We have six athletes returning from last year's varsity eight - Krystina Sarff, Caitlin Pauls, Stephanie Adams, Erin Riegel, Tara Rogers and Tanis Franchuk. We also have incoming transfers, former novices and key players from other lineups bringing a lot of speed, and throughout the fall the varsity eight had as many as 14 different athletes in it. Our increased depth will push the top end and many athletes will rise to the challenge. - Becky Frost
Previewing the Lightweights
The lightweights began their year with an impressive win at the Head of the Hooch, beating their opponents by almost a full minute. Having only graduated one senior from the IRA boat, the rest of the line up has returned and are joined by a strong incoming class of freshmen and transfers. With more experience this year, they are looking to make a statement at IRAs. - Becky Frost
The Novice Takes Shape
With one of the highest turnouts in recent history, the novice squad has many talented walk-ons joining several recruited freshmen. With a solid start this fall, winning the varsity eight at the Hatter Classic and taking second behind a strong Texas boat at the Head of the Hooch, they should have an extremely successful spring. - Becky Frost
Tangling with a Difficult Schedule
It has always been our philosophy that to become one of the best, you need to race the best. Our team has always risen to the level of its competition. By scheduling the best in the nation, we are more likely to reach our full potential. We will have the opportunity to race dual format against the Pac-10, Big 12, ACC, Big 10 and the Big East before preparing for the South/Central Regionals. - Becky Frost