Men’s, women’s crew see steady improvement

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The Union Men’s and Women’s Crew teams wrapped up their fall seasons on Halloween, competing in the Head of the Fish Regatta in Saratoga Springs.

The preceding weekend, both teams traveled to Philadelphia to race in the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta.

Since the fall season serves as both team’s nontraditional seasons, these races were the only formal action both teams saw.

On both the men’s and women’s sides, results showed improvement compared to previous seasons, and both the men’s and women’s novice boats performed well, an encouraging sign for the program’s future.

The teams first competed in the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta, hosted in Philadelphia. The conditions were favorable for rowing — it was a clear, crisp day with little-to-no wind.

The men’s team raced four boats throughout the event.

The Dutchmen’s standout boat of the day was the Men’s Novice Four. The boat, whose lineup included coxswain Phoenix Mendes ’18, Liam Doherty ’19 at stroke, Caleb Seymour ’19, Reed Axman ’19 and Ben Beckwith ’19, completed the 2.5-mile course in a time of 15:47.29, good for third place out of 16 boats and the bronze medal.

Temple, with a home-field advantage, dominated the race, and the second-place finisher, Villanova, edged out the Dutchmen by only 4.6 seconds. The Dutchmen topped many talented boats, notably West Point.

The Dutchmen also raced a Men’s Varsity Four, a Men’s Varsity Eight and a Men’s Novice Eight.

The Men’s Varsity Four finished in 16:21.53, coming in 36th out of 50 boats; the Men’s Varsity Eight finished 20th out of 32 boats, completing the course in 14:34.11, just seconds behind Liberty League opponent Hamilton; and the Men’s Novice Eight finished in the top third of their race, completing the course in 14:50.57, good for 12th place in the 38-boat field.

The Dutchwomen also raced four boats: a Novice Four and a Novice Eight, along with a Varsity Eight and a Second Varsity Eight, which both competed in the same race.

The Women’s Novice Four performed well, finishing the course in 17:20.52, good for seventh place in the field of25 boats.

The Women’s Novice Eight also had a strong showing, coming in 14th place out of 41 boats, with a time of 17:29.09.

Additionally, the Women’s Varsity Eight and the Second Varsity Eight both raced well in the field of 47 boats. The Varsity finished 18th, with a time of 16:10.17, and the Second Varsity finished 29th, with a time of 16:40.72.

The following weekend, both teams traveled to Saratoga Springs to compete in the Head of the Fish Regatta, making a significantly shorter trek compared to the previous weekend.

The men’s team raced three boats: a Varsity Eight, a Novice Eight and a Novice Four. The Men’s Varsity Eight finished the shorter, 2.3-mile course in 11:11.28, good for 18th place in the 27-boat field.

The Men’s Novice Eight finished in an impressive seventh place out of 40 crews, completing the course in 11:22.79.

The Men’s Novice Four proved to be the star of the day again, finishing in 12:38.23, good for fourth place in the field of 20 boats. The only teams able to beat the Dutchmen were Colgate, the Coast Guard Academy and UConn.

The Dutchwomen, again, raced four boats, although a Varsity Four replaced the Novice Four and the Varsity Eight and Second Varsity Eight raced in separate races.

The Women’s Novice Eight came in 11th out of 38 boats, finishing the course in a time of 13:32.93.

The Women’s Varsity Eight finished in the middle of the pack, coming in 11th place out of 20 boats, with a time of 12:34.93.

The Second Varsity Eight came in 10th in a field of 13, with a time of 13:13.84.

Despite being thrown together several days before the race, the Women’s Varsity Four performed impressively, coming in ninth place out of 33 boats, with a time of 13:32.29.

Both regattas gave veterans a chance to compete in some fun head races, while rookies were able to gain some racing experience.

The results achieved by both teams show improvement from previous seasons, but there is still room to grow. The strong showing by both teams’ novice groups provides hope for the program’s future success.

Both teams will work indoors through the winter, in hopes of being in top form once the traditional spring season rolls around.

 

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