The Bulldogs took home two first-place finishes and a pair of top-three finishes at the Lubbers Cup in Spring Lake, Mich., on Saturday.
“We had a really good day of racing and the extra conditioning is starting to pay off as we head to our conference championship in two weeks and our home race next weekend,” said head coach Charlie DiSilvestro in a Drake Athletics press release.
Senior Kat Moore, senior Susan Goulette, freshman Jacque Nowers (coxswain), freshman Sarah Travis and freshman Maggie Benhart earned a first-place finish at the first Varsity Four + race.
Sophomore Monica Worsley (coxswain), sophomore Bailey Berg, freshman Wenel Jais-Cross, freshman Hannah Powers and freshman Payton Albrecht took home the victory in the third Varsity Four + race.
“Physically we are in good shape and we have gotten faster but we need to adjust our race plans a little and execute them better but we are on track for next weekend and for (the) conference championship,” DiSilvestro said.
Drake competed against host Grand Valley State, Eastern Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Ohio State.
Junior Megan Bannister talked about the challenges of facing opponents the Bulldogs hadn’t really seen before.
“We didn’t really know what to expect. We knew they were going to be fast,” Bannister said. “We also knew we had been training really hard, we felt ready and it ended up paying-off.”
The Bulldogs also earned second place in the first Varsity Eight + race thanks to sophomore Brittany Michael, sophomore Jessica Nightser, freshman Emily Householter, Moore, Goulette, Nowers, Travis and Benhart.
Senior Madi Perington, senior Brittney Smith, junior Sarah Laughlin (coxswain), Nightser and Michael earned a third-place finish in the second Varsity Four race.
Bannister, sophomore Justine Choe, sophomore Mallory Bonstrom, freshman Hannah Hennessy and Householter took fourth in the varsity four + lightweight race.
The Bulldogs will host the Drake Invitational next Saturday, April 21 at the Birdland Marina on the Des Moines River.
“At this point, we’ve got a lot of power as a team. We have to keep perfecting some technique and we need to make sure we are effective in the water,” Bannister said.
Following the Drake Invitational, the Bulldogs will get ready for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships on April 28.
“I think it will be a good experience for us,” Bannister said. “There’s a lot more competition and I think we’re ready for it.”