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    April 19, 2015 Oak Ridge, Tenn. RSS |

    Two of Liberty University's crew team's three boats advanced to the finals of this weekend's Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championships regatta in Oak Ridge, Tenn., after dropping time from the preliminary heats to the semifinals.

    Liberty's Women's Novice 4, featuring four freshmen — coxswain Lydia Miller and rowers Sarah Catto, Allie Coughlan, and Kendra Dowdy, and junior newcomer Gabby Kitchens — won the fourth of Saturday's five preliminary heats by more than 16 seconds in 8 minutes, 47.228 seconds. That boat later finished runner-up to Clemson in the third and final A/B/C semifinal in 8:21.25 and sixth in Sunday's A final in 8:19.936.

    Meanwhile, the Lady Flames' Women's Varsity 4, stacked against notoriously fast boats, came within four seconds of making the cut to the semifinals, placing fifth in the first of six preliminary heats in 8:37.99. The lineup for that boat included junior co-captain Linda Branch at coxswain and junior head captain Rachel Williams and sophomores Debbie Martin, Kathleen Lopp, and Emily Berguson as rowers. 

    Liberty's Men's Varsity 4, meanwhile, placed third in the first of five preliminary heats in 7:25.856 before finishing fifth in the third and final A/B/C semifinal in 7:20.441. However, the Flames, anchored by junior captain Samuel Knauss, fellow rowers Josh Herts, a sophomore, junior Jordan Childs, and sophomore Kevin Brown, along with senior Ali Strader at coxswain, had their C final race canceled by thunderstorms on Sunday.

    Complete results are available online.