Ithaca College Quarterly 2005/1
South Hill Today


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Women's Crew
Winners, Second Year in a Row!

Women's Crew Championship Team

Back row:
Sarah Kuebler '06, Jacy McFall '05, Stephanie Knabe '06, Meghan Musnicki '05, Jessie Selock '05, Stacey Bowen '06, Robin McCann '05, Emma Flemer '06, Bailey Frye '05, coach Becky Robinson, '88, M.S. '94, assistant coach Aaron Benson, M.S. '05, athletic trainer D. J. Jones, M.S. '05, assistant athletic director Deb Steward

Front row:
Kaitlin Veninsky '06, Marissa Spitz '06, Danielle Costa '05, Stephanie Edley '07, Julie Purfield '06, Colleen Good '06, Jane Semiz '07, Heather Luke '06, Melanie Pessin '06, Lauren Barnes '08, Jess Krug '07, Becca Pinkus '06

"Last year, as soon as we finished we knew we had won the championship," says Jessica Selock '05. But this year, she says, the results were not as clear-cut or immediately apparent. "We had to look to the shore." Only when the crew of the first varsity eight boat saw the second varsity eight "screaming with joy" did the Ithaca College women's crew team know they'd taken the title.

That's because Ithaca was actually tied with Smith College after the finals. The fact that Ithaca had a faster time in the grand final was what clinched the win.

Perhaps, some team members speculated, it was the familiar weather that helped secure their success at the NCAA Rowing Championships, held at Lake Natoma, California. "It was sweltering on Friday," says Coach Becky Robinson '88, M.S. '94, "but on Saturday it cooled off and felt a lot like racing in Ithaca."

Pressure to win is always high for athletic teams, especially for defending champions. Will defending as two-time champions mean unbearable pressure next year? Robinson seems to think that there will be no problem. "The only way to get there in the end," she says, "is to start at square one."

This triumph makes Robinson, who competed with the team herself before going on to the 1991 U.S. national rowing team, the third Ithaca College coach to win consecutive national titles. Wrestling coach John Murray won in 1989 and 1990, and women's soccer coach Pat Farmer took back-to-back titles in 1990 and 1991.

The women's crew victory marks the 15th national championship for Ithaca College teams and the third in four years (Ithaca won the 2002 NCAA softball championship). Ithaca has also won three NCAA titles in football, three in wrestling, two in baseball, two in women's soccer, and one in field hockey; in 1998 the gymnastics team won the championship of the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association.

-- Zachary Loeb '06

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