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Clemson rowing looking to make a splash this spring: Mix of veterans and freshmen look to make NCAA Tournament

The 2017 NCAA spring rowing season is less than a month away, and the Clemson Tigers are ready to take to the water for what should be a promising season. 

Led by third-year head coach Stephen Frazier Wong, the rowing squad features one of the ACC’s best coaching staffs, with highly decorated assistants and a head coach capable of leading his team to greatness.

Featuring an ideal mixture of proven veterans and promising youngsters, this season’s rowing team figures to make some serious noise. 

In the distance tournaments of the fall, the Tigers fared well, with their first boat of the 4+ competition finishing in an impressive ninth place out of 59 boats at the prestigious Head of the Charles race in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which took place in late October.

At November’s Head of the Hooch event in Chattanooga, Clemson performed well again, this time showing out in the two-woman race. Sweeping the medals in the event, the Tigers brought an abundance of orange and regalia to the podium. 

Skilled seniors Cassidy Davidson and Ashley Robinson took first; Anna McLean and Julia Meredith placed second; and Brynn Hentschel and Claire Prevost finished in third place. Clemson also claimed gold in the 8+ event, winning by less than a second in the hard-fought competition. 

In addition, Clemson’s top four-person boat capitalized off of the momentum gained from its promising showing in Massachusetts by winning the race in Chattanooga fairly handily.

In mid-November, the Tigers capped off their fall rowing season by producing yet another quality showing at the Rivanna Romp in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Fully epitomizing the depth of the Tigers’ roster, the Clemson 8+ novice team, featuring a squad of exclusively freshmen, had the best finish of any Clemson boat and finished the race in under 15 minutes. 

Similarly, the Clemson B team of the 8+ race eked out the A team for a solid performance, showcasing the bevy of talent across the board for the Tigers.

All in all, the Tigers were very impressive in the fall and should be expected to carry that forward into the spring sprint season. Featuring fast-paced races that lead up to the NCAA Championships, the Tigers will host three major tournaments in the spring season.

First, in March, the Tigers will look to repeat as Daughtry Cup champions in the one-day Carolinas Cup in Clemson. Then, in April, Clemson will play host to the esteemed Clemson Invitational. And in May, the Tigers will have the opportunity to row on their home waters for the second straight season as part of the ACC Championships.

From the regular season-opening Tail of the Tiger, which Clemson hosted in September, to the regular season-ending ACC Championships, the Tigers will hope to have a body of work impressive enough to set themselves up for a quality showing at the NCAA Championships in May. From the coxswain to the bowman, each one of Clemson’s boats is as unified and motivated to succeed as any in the nation. 

That close camaraderie and diversity of talent bodes well for the Tigers, who are aiming to make waves, both literally and figuratively, this spring.

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