By Chandler Carver
CLEMSON — The ACC Championship is always one of the highlights of the season for the Clemson rowing team, especially when it takes place on their home water.
For the 10 time since it’s inception in 2000, and the third consecutive year, the ACC Rowing Championship this coming Saturday will be held at Lake Hartwell.
The Tigers, the only school other than Virginia to win an ACC Championship, have some of the best facilities in the country, and are, again, the Cavaliers’ biggest conference competition on the water.
Clemson captured its first ACC Crown in 2009, when the event was held in Oak Ridge, TN, and are looking for their second conference title,
this time, on a course they are most familiar with.
Clemson’s 1st Varsity 8, the reigning ACC Crew-of-the-Year, finished second at last year’s event. The Tigers finished only two-seconds behind Virginia, in the most exciting race of the day. This year, the V8 crew of freshman Samantha Duggan, sophomore Laura Basadonna, senior Kate Biladeau, junior Heather Cummings, junior Ameerah Aly, senior Becca Brown, freshman Giulia Longattia, sophomore and returning All-American Laura D’Urso, and junior coxswain Katie Bruggeling look to repeat as Crew-of-the-Year, and also take home the ACC crown.
The Tigers’ 2nd Varsity 8, who also finished second to Virginia at last year’s contest, has faced some tough competition already this season. Earlier this year, Clemson finished only one second behind Iowa in one of the most exciting finishes of that day. Junior coxswain Emily Massey looks to help the 2V8 improve on last year’s second place finish and capture the Tigers’ first-ever 2nd Varsity 8 win.
Clemson’s 1st Varsity 4 is arguably the Tigers’ most improved boat of the season, and is coming off a win against No. 15 Michigan State at last week’s UVA Invitational. The V4, who also finished second to Virginia at the 2011 ACC Championship, has defeated quality teams
like Texas, Iowa, Indiana, Syracuse, San Diego, Northeastern and Kansas on the season.
The crew of senior Rebekah Clogston, freshman MJ Keys, senior Taylor Hoynacki, junior Vanesa Ewais, and freshman coxswain Carissa
Richardson is prepared to take on the rest of the conference and hopes to capture the Tigers’ first Varsity 4 win since 2009.
The Tigers’ Novice 8 is also coming off a win against No. 15 Michigan State and is looking to improve on their third place finish from last
season. This year’s all-freshman crew of Alana de Klerk, Alex Wall, Aylie Burnette, Cristina Morcom, MaryAnn Sims, Lindsey Hughes, Virginia Fritsche, Elise McVey and coxswain Kendra Prosser is looking for the Tigers’ first Novice 8 win since 2008.
The event, beginning Saturday morning at nine o’clock, will be the Tigers’ final home event of the 2012 season. Fans can watch the races online at theACC.com and can also follow the event on Twitter using #ACCRow.