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March 27, 2013
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) -- Virginia’s First Varsity Eight crew began 2013 in the same fashion as it ended 2012, in first place, claiming a sweep of its races at the Cardinal Oak Ridge Invitational, as the No. 1-ranked Cavaliers downed 14th-ranked Notre Dame, 18th-ranked Louisville, ACC foe Duke, Georgetown, Alabama and West Virginia.
For its efforts, Virginia’s First Varsity Eight crew Wednesday was named the initial 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Rowing Crew of the Week by the ACC.
UVa’s First Varsity Eight crew, composed of senior coxswain Molly Frear (Wilton, Conn.), senior All-America Kristine O’Brien (Massapequa Park, N.Y.), senior All-America Sarah Cowburn (Worcestershire, England), junior Fiona Schlesinger (New Maiden, Surrey, UK), sophomore Lizzy Youngling (Westport, Conn.), senior Suzanne Grainger (London, Ontario), sophomore Chandler Lally (Bryn Mawr, Pa.), junior Constanze Duell (Oberschleissheim, Germany), and junior Elle Murray (Tampa, Fla.) recorded a time of 6:32.10 in downing 18th-ranked Louisville (6:39.67) and West Virginia (7:05.50) in its first race on Saturday, March 16.
Virginia then posted a time of 6:30.60 in defeating 14th-ranked Notre Dame (6:36.02) and unranked Georgetown (6:59.10) also on Saturday. The Cavaliers completed the sweep on Sunday, March 17, covering the distance in 6:27.80, their best time of the year to date, to defeat Duke (6:41.48) and Alabama (7:02.74).
Virginia captured the First Varsity Eight competition last year en route to winning the school’s second NCAA Team Rowing Championship at West Windsor, N.J. This year’s UVa First Varsity Eight squad returns only four rowers from that team in O’Brien, Cowburn, Grainger and Schlesinger. The Cavaliers feature five new crew members including senior coxswain Molly Frear and two who rowed for the Cavaliers’ Second Varsity Eight boat at the NCAA Championships last year in Chandler Lally and Elle Murray.
Virginia nosed out strong performances for ACC Crew of the Week by Clemson’s First Varsity Eight Boat which recorded a time of 6:28.5 in downing Syracuse, Boston U., Purdue and Indiana on March 16, and also swept Alabama on March 23; and Boston College’s First Varsity Eight, which captured the Jesuit Invitational on March 16.
Virginia will next be in action this April 6-7 in the prestigious San Diego Crew Classic in San Diego, Calif. The 2013 ACC Rowing Championship will be held on Sunday, May 12, on Lake Hartwell in Clemson, S.C.