The UT-Chattanooga Rowing Team won the collegiate points trophy at the 36th annual Head of the Tennessee Regatta. The team point victory was paced by first place finishes in the Men’s Varsity Four, Men’s Novice Eight, Women’s Lightweight Four, Mixed Eight and Mixed Four (A). Finishing in second place for the Rowing Mocs were the Women’s Novice Eight, Mixed Four (B), and earning bronze medals were the Men’s Varsity Eight and the Women’s Novice Four. UTC Rowing won with 39 points, with Tennessee second and Alabama third.
“I was very pleased with the overall team performance. All the boats raced really well,” said Coach Robert Espeseth. “I was surprised by the success of the Men’s Novice Eight and the Women’s Lightweight Four. I had hoped that the Varsity Men’s Four could do well, but was not expecting them to win. However, I think the biggest surprise for the team was the
Women’s Novice Eight finishing second to Alabama (only 3 seconds behind) and ahead of the Tennessee Lady Vols (by 1.5 seconds).”
According to Espeseth, both the Alabama and Tennessee programs are “varsity status,” meaning they are part of the athletic departments programs with significant budgets. Women in the Alabama and Tennessee boats were recruited from high school teams to row at these institutions. Many of them are on scholarship.
“For our young ladies who just started rowing this fall to do that well against them is just amazing! So, while the novice women’s eight was second, I think it was the best of the performances by the UTC team, given what they were up against. However, I am very happy with how each and every boat did,” Espeseth said.
Men’s Varsity Four: Spenser Galloway, Steven Reinisch, Heath Foster, Andrew Phillips, Shelley Brand
Men’s Novice Eight: John Steffan, Kevin Gibson, Bob Burton, Korey Chambers, Jason Labonte, Luke Pavlechko, David King, You Gao and Katelyn Blum
Women’s Lightweight Four: Anna Beurskens, Molly Cashion, Tara Landry, Karen Gabor and Mike Burns
Mixed Eight: Aimee Depelteau, Courtney Rice, Megan Jones, Ali Blach, Jason Labonte, Zach Lambson, Bob Burton, You Gao and Katie Christianson
Mixed Four (A): Amy Pegram, Jessica Brand, David King, Korey Chambers and Katelyn Blum
Women’s Novice Eight: Amy Pegram, Kaitlyn Largent, Marlowe Whittaker, Marlene Harrison, Bree McCauley, Sarah Ball, Buffy Wilhite, Claire Henley and Kayla Fischer
Mixed Four (B): Cody Carpenter, Sammy Higgs, Marlowe Whittaker, Sarah Ball and Kayla Fischer
Men’s Varsity Eight: John Steffan, Pedro Lopez, Jorge Nieves, Ande Lambert, Spencer Galloway, Steven Reinisch, Heath Foster, Andrew Phillips and Shelley Brand
Women’s Novice Four: Bree McCauley, Marlene Harrison, Buffy Wilhite, Claire Henley and Courtney Burris