|Varsity Four Places Sixth at Dad Vail Regatta|
Moon Township, Pa. - The Robert Morris University women's rowing team concluded its 2011-12 campaign Saturday by taking part in the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, Pa.
RMU's varsity four, which included senior Chelsea Thornton (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Carrick), juniors Gretchen Gailey (Beaver, Pa. / Beaver Area) and Ashley Wright (Gibsonia, Pa. / Pine-Richland), sophomore Megan Coleman (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Northgate) and freshman Julie Miller (Pittsburgh, Pa. / North Catholic), highlighted the regatta for the Colonials, advancing to the grand final and finishing sixth out of 42 boats.
Robert Morris won its heat by finishing with a time of 7:52.98, placing ahead of Loyola (Md.), Pittsburgh and Manhattan. Thanks to the victory, the varsity four advanced to the semifinal, where it had to finish first or second to earn a spot in the grand finals.
RMU posted a time of 7:36.73 in the semifinals, improving its time by over 16 seconds, to earn second place behind Old Dominion.
In the grand finals the Colonials finished sixth with a time of 8:14.403. Drake won the championship and Margaret McNiff Trophy with a time of 7:47.927.
Also competing at the Dad Vail for Robert Morris was the novice four, which earned fourth place in its heat with a time of 8:24.23. Despite racing without a working cox box, the Colonials were able to knock off Carnegie Mellon by 21 seconds as well as Ohio State.
The novice four boat consisted of freshmen Laura Mooradian (St. Catharines, Ontario / Denis Morris), Brianna Hellier (Beaver, Pa. / Beaver Area), Heather Hodges (Valencia, Pa. / Mars Area), Kristin Fay (Philadelphia, Pa. / Philadelphia) and Althea O'Brien (Sewickley, Pa. / Eden Christian Academy).
"I'm very proud of these young women and what they accomplished this weekend," head coach Midge McPhail said. "Both boats raced very well. It's exciting to know that the majority of these student-athletes will be with us next year. They will be instrumental in continuing to build the program."