CLEMSON, S.C. – The UNC rowing team opened spring racing Saturday morning at the Carolinas Cup, competing in five boats against Atlantic Coast Conference rivals Duke and Clemson. The Tar Heels placed third but were encouraged by competitive times and results. “This is the most competitive we’ve been against these two schools in a long time, maybe ever,” UNC coach Sarah Haney said. “We feel good about where we are, what we’ve done and where we can go from here.”
Racing on Lake Hartwell in conditions that got windier as the morning went on, the UNC third varsity eight had the best finish of the day, taking second place with a time of 7:14.6. In final race of the morning, the UNC varsity eight almost grabbed another second-place finish but ended up third, just a second behind Clemson. Duke won that race in 6:41.3, with Clemson in at 6:54.5 and UNC at 6:55.5. The Tar Heel varsity four also had a close race, finishing third by just over a second.
“The varsity four being that close and having a neck-and-neck race all the way down the course is really promising and something we’re really excited about,” Haney said. “Having the varsity eight be just one second back and a nail-biter all the way down was something that we were pretty exited about as well.”
The Blue Devils won the day with 99 points, followed by the host Tigers with 87 and UNC with 78. After racing was finished, the teams continued to scrimmage, allowing Carolina to cap its spring break training with additional experience.
“I’m really proud of our team,” Haney said. “I’m proud of how we handled training during spring break. We had a really positive attitude coming into this race and now coming out of it. The goal was for them to walk off the bus proud and get back on the bus even prouder, and we accomplished that today. “
Next up for the Tar Heels is the Sunshine State Invitational March 31 and April 1 in Sarasota, Fla.
Overall points: 1. Duke 99; 2. Clemson 87; 3. North Carolina 78
First Varsity 8+
1. Duke 6:41.3; 2. Clemson 6:54.5; 3. North Carolina 6:55.5
Second Varsity 8+
1. Duke 6:47.3; 2. Clemson 6:57.0; 3. North Carolina 7:07.9
Third Varsity 8+
1. Duke 7:05.5; 2. North Carolina 7:14.6; 3. Clemson 7:25.7
First Varsity 4+
1. Duke 7:27.1; 2. Clemson 7:38.7; 3. North Carolina 7:39.8
Second Varsity 4+
1. Duke 7:37.4; 2. Clemson 7:43.3; 3. North Carolina 8:11.6