SIRAs 2012

On April 21-22, 2012, our varsity men’s and women’s squads took to the podiums at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championships in Oak Ridge, TN. Competition was relentless, with many of the top collegiate crews from the South (both varsity and club) pursuing the gold. The weekend was filled with racing, with heats and semifinals on Saturday and finals on Sunday. While the weather had forecasted scattered thunderstorms throughout the weekend, the racecourse sported fairly good rowing conditions, with nothing more than a slight headwind and, thankfully, no rain.

From the very start, Emory’s Men’s Heavyweight Varsity 4+ (S: Ben Carr, 3: Adam Hanif, 2: Eric Rusiecki, B: Alex Dermody-McKean, C: Harry Goldberg) proved dominant, winning their heat by 10 seconds over George Washington University and their semifinal by 9 seconds over Grand Valley. In both races, Emory posted the fastest times out of all the crews. In the finals, the MV4+ battled University of Florida throughout the race, with UF having a slight lead over Emory through the first 1000m. Nevertheless, Emory’s four proved to be the faster and more mentally tough crew, crossing the finish line in 1st with a time of 6:43.20, 4 seconds ahead of UF.

The Women’s Heavyweight Varsity 8+ (S: Nora Kenty, 7: Ali Brooks, 6: Sofie Leenders, 5: Gabby Arondel, 4: Grace Veker, 3: Laura Eakes, 2: Jen Margulies, B: Meghan Ewen, C: Devan Elmore) performed well against tough competitors in the combined Club and Open category, coming in 3rd in both the heats and semifinals. Moving on to the B final, Emory placed 1st for the club entries and 11th overall, making Emory the winners of the club division of the Heavyweight Varsity 8+.
Junior Gabby Arondel commented, “racing varsity programs was a great experience and definitely pushed our boat to our limits. Although at first a little disappointed with an 11th place finish overall, we’re very happy to be taking home the gold for the club entries.”

Following tradition, shirts from other crews and medals were given to our winning teams as coxswains Harry Goldberg and Devan Elmore were tossed into the cold waters of Melton Lake.

Like the Varsity Women, the Novice Women 8+ raced in a combined open and club event. Despite battling against crews with more rowing experience, they landed in the B final, taking 2nd and the silver medal for the club entries and 7th overall. The men’s lightweight and novice boats and the women’s novice 4+ put out strong performances, and although they didn’t win any medals, they gained valuable racing experience and will return to Emory ready to make technical adjustments to their rowing and gain boat speed. On the other hand, while the months of hard work from the MV4+ and the WV8+ have paid off, these squads will train just as hard in the coming weeks with their eyes now set on gold at the upcoming Dad Vail regatta in Philadelphia, PA, May 11-12.

If any parents/alumni were able to attend the regatta and take pictures that they are willing to share, please email We would love to post memories of this eventful weekend on our website for all to see.

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