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Saturday January 23rd

UNC rowing team earns several strong finishes in New Jersey

<p>The UNC 3V8 rowing team earned gold at the Sunshine State Invitational in Sarasota, Fla., on April 8. Photo courtesy of UNC Athletic Department.</p>
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The UNC 3V8 rowing team earned gold at the Sunshine State Invitational in Sarasota, Fla., on April 8. Photo courtesy of UNC Athletic Department.

The North Carolina rowing team successfully braved troubled waters during its two-day stint on the Cooper River.

Tar Heel rowers notched several top finishes during the weekend’s Murphy Cup and Cooper River Sprints in Cherry Hill, N.J. UNC prevailed against the field and several bouts of poor conditions while racing down the Cooper River.

What happened?

On Saturday, UNC earned four medals before inclement weather led to the cancellation of several races. 

UNC’s varsity eight stormed out of the gate and won their heat with the time of 6:55.39. In the grand final, the University of Pennsylvania narrowly beat UNC for gold as the Tar Heels took second with the time of 6:44.82.

The Tar Heel third varsity eight also won silver in their finals. UNC rowers were able to outpace George Washington and Delaware before finishing a few strokes behind Temple. The second varsity eight took bronze in their final.

UNC’s varsity four took home the Tar Heels’ fourth medal of the day. Though the finals for the events were canceled due to inclement weather, UNC had a strong enough showing in the heats to earn silver for the event.

On Sunday, the Tar Heels had four teams finish in the top three of their respective races.

After a strong showing the day prior, UNC showcased its abilities once again in a separate match on the same river. The Tar Heels faced a largely fresh and well-rested field, as only one other team rowed both days. 

UNC’s varsity eight finished third in their heat and qualified for the petite final where a strong showing netted them a second place finish.

The Tar Heels’ second varsity eight had arguably the team’s best showing of the weekend as they won their petite final with the time of 6:54.12, a vast improvement over their qualifying time of 7:04.68. Shortly after, UNC won another petite final when the third varsity eight beat second-place Clemson by nearly 7 seconds.

The fourth top three team for UNC was the varsity four that finished just behind Rutgers and Duke in the grand final.

Who stood out?

UNC’s varsity eight was the team’s strongest grouping, as they earned two second-place finishes on the weekend. Sophomore coxswain Madeline Lavin guided her crew to several great showings over the two days.

When was it decided?

UNC’s varsity eight placing first in Heat 3 early Saturday set the tone for the event. The Tar Heels’ stellar play lasted the duration of the weekend as their petite final victory for the third varsity eight came late Sunday.

Why does it matter?

In some of the last few races before the ACC Championship, the Tar Heels were looking at these two events as a momentum builder heading into the postseason. In that regard, their weekend up north was a major success, as several top finishes have the Tar Heels poised for more decorated showings over the next two months.

When do they play next?

After returning to Chapel Hill for a small break from competition, the Tar Heels will once again travel to New Jersey to take part in the Knecht Cup on April 13.

@KenjonVander

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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