Varsity 8 Wins Newport Rowing FestivalOklahoma’s top boat defeats UCLA for the first-place finishrebuilding champions

Rebecca Staff and Olivia Staff

Nov. 6, 2011

NEWPORT, Calif. – The Oklahoma rowing team closed out its fall season Sunday at the Newport Autumn Rowing Festival in Newport, Calif., with a strong showing by the varsity eight, which took first in a race for the second time in as many days. The varsity eight defeated UCLA’s top two boats one day after claiming first at the Head of the Marina.

“It was a really productive weekend,” Oklahoma Head Coach Leeanne Crain said. “It was nice to see some of the west coast teams that we don’t normally face until the spring season.”

The varsity eight took first with a time of 17:10.00 as it was led by coxswain Carly Schueler, Rebecca Staff, Nikki Furmanek, Nicole Bladow, Brooke Sheppard, Kristin Clift, Olivia Staff, Kellie O’Reilly and Meghan Farrell. The top boat in the event beat out UCLA’s “A” (17:26.00) and “B” (17:41.00) boats for the first-place finish. Oklahoma’s second varsity eight was not far behind UCLA’s second varsity boat, trailing by just one second (17:42.00). Coxswain Kiley Poppino, Ashley LaFollette, Sam Fahed, Ivy Brown, Markayla Adam, Rebecca Winchester, Katie Klassen, Kelsey O’Grady and Heather Morris filled the “B” boat.

Oklahoma rowing also did well in the open four event with all four entries placing in the top 10 of the 15 boats in the competition. The varsity four claimed first (19:22.00) with coxswain Schueler, Rebecca Staff, Furmanek, Bladow and Farrell in control. Coxswain Poppino, Sheppard, Clift, Olivia Staff and O’Reilly came in fourth, trailing San Diego (20:04.00) by just eight seconds in a time of (20:12.00).

For more results visit the Newport Autumn Rowing Festival website.

The event closes out the fall season as the Sooners next return to the water to open their spring season in Oklahoma City on March 3, for the OU Invitational.