OAK RIDGE, TN - Clemson claimed its first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference Rowing Championship on Monday morning on Lake Melton in Oak Ridge, TN. The Tigers were led by their Varsity 4+ and Varsity 8+ crews and finished with 55 points to capture the conference title.
"I am so proud of all of our athletes," said Head Coach Richard Ruggieri, who was named the ACC Coach of the Year in just his second year with the program after guiding the Tigers to their first conference title. "To win an ACC Championship is a testament to a work ethic and a belief in what we do each and every day. Without the fellow coaches and competitors in the ACC, we certainly would not be where we are today. Today we will enjoy this honor and tomorrow we need to get back to work and keep moving forward towards our goals."
Virginia, winners of the previous nine ACC championships, finished just one point behind the Tigers with 54 total points. Miami placed third with 34 points, followed by Boston College with 23, Duke with 21, and North Carolina with 19.
Clemson's 14th-ranked Varsity 8+ finished first ahead of No. 11 Virginia with a time of 6:38.40, marking the first time in the history of the conference championship that Virginia did not win the Varsity 8+ race. The Tigers' victory was also just the fifth time a non-Virginia crew won an event at the championship regatta. Virginia finished with a time of 6:47.92, followed by Miami, Boston College, Duke, and North Carolina.
For the 10th consecutive year, Virginia's Second Varsity 8+ finished first in its race. Clemson finished second with a time of 6:57.13 behind Virginia's 6:49.30. Virginia's Martha Kuzzy, a member of the Second Varsity 8+ crew, was named the ACC Freshman of the Year.
In the Novice 8+ race, Virginia edged Duke to win the race with a time of 7:04.8. Clemson finished in third place with a time of 7:17.19.
Clemson's Varsity 4+ became just the fourth non-Virginia crew to win an event at the conference regatta when the Tigers defeated the Cavaliers with a time of 7:43.10 in the first race of the morning.
In addition, Clemson's Varsity 8+ was named the ACC Crew of the Year. The winning crew is composed of Carla Englund (coxswain), Jessica Leidecker, Meg Bendik, Liz Robb, Michelle Nance, Stefanie Kozuszek, Grace Wolff, Brittany Cummings, and Hilary Cumbest.
Jessica Leidecker (Clemson), Tracy Maciolek (Boston College), Laura Cordner (Miami), and Augusta Stratos (Virginia) were each named to the All-ACC team for the second consecutive season. Joining them on the all-conference team were Carla Englund (coxswain), Hilary Cumbest, Brittany Cummings, and Michelle Nance from Clemson, Amanda Chase and Bridget Fowler from Virginia, Emily Wingrove (Miami), Laura Harvey (Boston College), Lesley King (Duke), and Megan McMulin (North Carolina).
ACC Rowing Results:
1V8+: 1. Clemson, 6:38.40; 2. Virginia, 6:47.92; 3. Miami, 7:00.01; 4. Boston College, 7:03.60; 5. Duke, 7:09.03; 6. North Carolina, 7:11.62
2V8+: 1. Virginia, 6:49.30; 2. Clemson 6:57.13; 3. Miami, 7:18.42; 4. Boston College, 7:25.45; 5. North Carolina, 7:42.99
N8+: 1. Virginia, 7:04.80; 2. Duke, 7:11.85; 3. Clemson, 7:17.9; 4. North Carolina, 7:30.53; 5. Miami, 8:12.02
1V4+: 1. Clemson, 7:43.10; 2. Virginia, 7:47.82; 3. Duke, 7:57.08; 4. North Carolina, 8:14.94; 5. Miami, 8:20.24; 6. Boston College, 8:34.35
Carla Englund, coxswain (Clemson), Jessica Leidecker (Clemson), Brittany Cummings (Clemson), Hilary Cumbest (Clemson), Michelle Nance (Clemson), Augusta Stratos (Virginia), Amanda Chase (Virginia), Bridget Fowler (Virginia), Laura Cordner (Miami), Emily Wingrove (Miami), Tracy Maciolek (Boston College), Laura Harvey (Boston College), Lesley King (Duke), Megan McMulin (North Carolina)
ACC Crew of the Year - Clemson Varsity 8+:
Carla Englund (c), Jessica Leidecker (8th), Meg Bendik (7th), Liz Robb (6th), Michelle Nance (5th), Stefanie Kozuszek (4th), Grace Wolff (3rd), Brittany Cummings (2nd), Hilary Cumbest (1st)
ACC Coach of the Year: Richard Ruggieri (Clemson)
ACC Freshman of the Year: Martha Kuzzy (Virginia)