UCF rowing team paddles to third straight American Athletic Conference title

Team claims 2017 conference title with 217 points

(Courtesy UCF Athletics Communications)

SARASOTA, Fla. – The University of Central Florida rowing team paddled past its opponents on Saturday to secure its third straight American Athletic Conference title with a complete sweep of all six events at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota.

The 2017 title came after the Knights tallied 217 total points, battling both the wind and its closest opponent in the standings, Tulsa, which captured second with 189 points. But the title wasn’t the only accolade for the team, which also took home its third Coaching Staff of the Year award.

"We've put in so much hard work this year," head coach Becky Cramer said in a story on UCFKnights.com. "Today, the opportunity to race for a third conference championship was the reward. I know my team was excited to have that reward and have the opportunity to three-peat."

Lauren Aiello, Ashleigh Boyd, Marija Medelinskaite and Julie Poulsen were all named First Team All-Conference, while Rachel Klunder, Zana Krakic and Viktorija Senkute received Second Team All-Conference honors.

After sweeping all six events for the first time since becoming a member school in the AAC,  the Knights earned the AAC’s automatic bid into the NCAA championship May 26-28 in West Windsor, New Jersey.

"Being a part of this three-time conference championship team has been an honor," Aiello said. "Especially today when we swept conference, which was our ultimate goal. It was an amazing way to end the conference portion of my career.  Now we're excited to go to NCAAs and show them what we've got."