# 2 Rowing Makes Waves at Home and Abroad in 2011-12
BUFFALO, NY - Head coach Rudy Wieler has accomplished a lot over his 11-year career, but in his final season heading up the Buffalo women's rowing program, he saw that his team will one to watch for years to come. The 2011-12 rowing team saw program firsts on both national and international levels of competition.
At the end of March, the team was ranked sixth in the nation in the preseason poll released by USRowing, and it lived up to that ranking with a solid Spring. Kick started by winning its sixth straight Harvey Cup just a week later, the team carried the early momentum into the Knecht Cup, where the lightweight four boat won the gold medal – marking the first time a UB lightweight boat had ever won the gold medal at the event. The team then placed third overall at the Colonial Athletic Association Rowing Championship, with the varsity four boat winning the gold medal.
Next up at the Dad Vail Regatta, the team finished third overall and won a pair of medals. The lightweight eight boat earned a silver, and the varsity eight boat finished in the bronze despite competing in a packed field of 34 teams. The following day, the novice eight boat earned the bronze medal at the Eastern Sprints to wrap up another successful weekend.
The season came to a close with another program first, as the team sent its lightweight four boat to the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships in Camden, NJ. The boat, manned by Katherine Evely (coxswain), Cornelia Willis, Julia Hahn, Katie Coffin and Margaret Lawn, finished with a time of 7:25.44, almost ten seconds faster than the fourth place boat.
Lightweight coach Kerri Kanaley was happy about the team's results for the day.
"This is a very special group of student-athletes who have worked very hard for this and to be able to have a showing like this among the best in the nation, I couldn't be more proud," Kanaley said.
The team's success continued into the offseason, with Willis riding the momentum of the national bronze medal to earn a spot under a much bigger spotlight. In late June, Willis became the first UB athlete to qualify for the U-23 Rowing World Championships and represented Team USA in the Women's Lightweight 4x at the championships, which were held July 11-15 in Trakai, Lithuania.
This final chapter in Wieler's career at Buffalo has been one that both he and the program will remember for many years to come.
"I will take with me a tremendous number of great memories and experiences with the people I've met and friends I've gained," Wieler said.