Northwestern State University’s Women’s Varsity 4+ boat finished second in the nation at the American Collegiate Rowing Association National Championship Regatta on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia. This is the first time NSU has won a medal at the competition.
The boat with rowers Jami LeBlanc of Jennings, Melissa Pesacreta of Lafayette, Glory Deaton of Pineville, Holly Smith of Baton Rouge, and coxed by Nicole Plunkett of New Orleans finished with a time of 7:54.294 behind champion University of California – Irvine.
“We knew the girls had the potential, but to have our program do so well on a national level is unprecedented,” said NSU Crew Coach Jason Stelly. “The girls worked so hard and are very deserving of their achievements. There are no words that fully describe how proud I am. I feel very honored and lucky to coach them.”
Marquette was third in the grand finals followed by Chicago, Oregon, the University of California – Davis, Ohio State and Northwestern University
“The race itself was perfect,” said Stelly. “We knew they could be in contention for the medals as long as they stuck to what they worked on. We had a certain game plan going into the finals and the girls executed perfectly. When they are lined up next to the other boats, they really step up and perform their best. They really are a textbook definition of teamwork. I am very proud of them.”
The Women’s Varsity 4+ advanced to the national championships after getting their first conference title at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Conference Championships.
More than 160 colleges and universities compete in the ACRA.