Grind, sweat, and hard work pushes Florioda Tech through Heat and Repechage races at NCAA DII Championships

SARASOTA -- After a missing the automatic qualifier during the Heats this morning, No. 4 Florida Tech ground its way through the Repechage races after a three-hour weather delay to qualify for the NCAA DII Women's Rowing Championship Eight and Four Grand Finals this Sunday at Nathan Benderson Park.

In the V8 heat, the Panthers maintained an even bow with Runner-Up Central Oklahoma through the first 1000 meters but fell slightly behind in the remaining 1000. The Panthers crew of coxswain Taylor Stoni, Natalia Arasa Bonavila, Federica Pala, Theresa Gadilhe, Anna Kayser Gallego, Julie McCarthy, Irina Djurovic, Svetlana Ristin, and Graysen Pensch crossed the 2000-meter buoyed race course in 7:04.691 for a second place finish ahead of Mercyhurst (7:29.039).

In the Four Heat, Summer Rhodes (Cox), Shaula Rey, Emily Hall, Allyson McCarron and Taylor Greene went head-to-head with the Broncos in a two-boat race and also took second. The crew's bow crossed the line in 7:53.024.

Due to a three-hour weather delay, the afternoon Repechages were delayed until 5 p.m. With Finals on the line after a long break, the Panthers varsity eight crew took the water against UC San Diego, Barry, and Mercyhurst. Throughout the duration of the 2000-meter course, FIT stayed even with the Tritons, leaving Barry and Mercyhurst behind by a three-second split. At the 1500 mark, boat crews were clocked just one second apart, but through the final 500 UC San Diego pulled ahead to finish first.

Competing immediately after the eight crew, the varsity four took a first-place finish to qualify for the Grand Finals ahead of Mercyhurst.

Both crews will take the water on Saturday, May 26th for the Grand Finals. The V4 will start at 8:18 a.m., followed by the eight at 8:26 a.m. ET

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