OAK RIDGE, TENN (April 17, 2016) -- The Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships was a huge success for all four Rollins boats. The first obstacle was making the grand finals in all events which the team accomplished on Saturday. The next piece of the puzzle was to finish as high up the ladder in those grand finals.  

The men’s pair of Reese Gallup and Michael Dennis started the day off for the Tars with a Bronze medal finish.  These guys finished 3rd out of the 11 boats that were entered.   In the finals High Point took an early lead with the remaining boats bow ball to bow ball through the 500m mark.   This is where the race really started to shake out.   Oklahoma City and Rollins began working their way away from the remaining 3 boats clearly defining the top three boats from the pack.   As the race wore on, Oklahoma City moved away from Rollins and ate up the early lead that High Point had.  Rollins was able to make up some ground on High Point but was never able to get into their boat.   The pair crossed the line 7 seconds out of 2nd place and 10 seconds out of first.   This was a great race from start to finish for the pair.   They kept their composure through the entire race and the bronze medal was a great accomplishment.

Next to the line for Rollins was the women’s novice 4 (Marissa Cobuzio, Brianna Barrett, Elizabeth Berry, Rachel Wasserman and Erin Snyder). There were a total of 22 novice 4’s racing at the regatta and for the first time they were split into an open and club event.   In the time trials Rollins was the fastest of the open entries and posted the 3rd fastest time of all the novice 4’s.  The ladies were not only racing the 2 boats in their open grand final but also for pride to post the fastest time out of all the novice 4’s.  The four kept true to their race on Saturday winning the Women’s Open Novice 4 by 10 seconds over Tampa and at the same time posting the 3rd fastest time overall behind Virginia Tech and James Madison University.  Our women jumped off the line to an early lead and were in command from the first 300m through the finish line. This group of ladies had a great week of practice between FIRA  and SIRA and their results showed by bringing home the SIRA Trophy for this event. Congrats to this boat and we look forward to their contributions for the next three years.

The women’s varsity 4 (Ana Rivas, Mattie Scull, Isabella Sandoval, Morgan Colley, and Isabella Seddon) was the next boat out for Rollins and when they got to the line for the grand finals their opponents were Old Dominion, Kansas State A, Kansas State B, Jacksonville A and Jacksonville B.   Already psyched to have made the grands, this group of ladies was ready to go head to head with these five opponents.   Off the line, it was a dead heat of 1 – 4 with both Jacksonville boats falling slightly behind.   As the crews crossed the 500m mark, Old Dominion and Kansas A started to slowly move away.   Rollins and the Kansas B boat did not let them leave easily.   Rollins kept fighting and fighting making it difficult for the crews to leave them.   As the race continued, Jacksonville A moved back into contention with Rollins and these two crews fought it out for fourth place from the 1200m mark to the finish line.   When the horn sounded Rollins did not know where they had finished.   When the results were posted, Jacksonville was able to edge Rollins out by .1 seconds for a 5th place finish by the Tars.   This was the best race the ladies have put together this season and one they won’t soon forget.  This event was also split into open and club so these ladies were looking to post the best time possible of the all the varsity fours.  The time they posted put them 8 out of 31.  

The final boat in the grand finals was the men’s varsity 4 (Mike Buccino, Marc Bremmer, Ian Seddon, Nilsen Arias, and David Ravery). The crews in their event were Georgia Tech, Oklahoma City, Temple, Virginia and Marietta.   When all was said and done Rollins crossed the line in 5th place(out of 30 total entries) just 2 seconds behind Virginia.   Rollins and Virginia battled down the entire race course.   Rollins had the lead on these guys early by a few seats and through the middle thousand, Virginia was able to inch by inch work their way through Rollins.   This boat got off the line the cleanest they had all year and put themselves in a great position to be successful.   Of course they would have liked to finish in the medals but they made  the other crews beat them today and did not make that job easy.

Coach Shawn Pistor adds, "This was a great weekend for Rollins.  The speed at SIRA is always fast and you never know what to expect.   You have to show up ready to perform and make no mistakes.   Rollins showed up ready and our performance proves it". 

For the latest news, updates, and information on the Rollins rowing teams, fans can visit RollinsSports.com. The Rollins rowing team is on Facebook. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest #TARnation news by following Rollins Sports on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.