By Greg Brenn
After 10 arduous weeks of winter training on the ergometers and a spring break trip in the Hillsborough Bay of Tampa, Florida, the men and women’s crew teams recently competed in two intense weeks of rowing that culminated into wins for both crews.
On April 7, the men’s varsity eight, who raced to defend the prestigious Gilman Cup, did just that. The Dutchmen finished with a 2,000 meter time of 6:13, dominating Hamilton who finished with a time of 6:26.
The women’s varsity eight, racing against a strong Hamilton team ranked 10th in the nation, finished just behind their opponent with a time of 7:13.40.
“Obviously losing to a solid crew like Hamilton is not easy to shake off, but being so close with them throughout the race makes us motivated for what’s to come in future races,” says Women’s Crew Captain and stroke seat for the women’s varsity eight boat Kate Foley ‘13, describing the determination and perseverance of her fellow rowers. “Each girl is so invested in this team, and to look back in the boat after crossing the finish line to see smiling but exhausted faces, knowing that we endured pain for a victory, is a great feeling.”
This past weekend, both crews competed at home on Saturday against the University of Albany, with dominant wins in six of the seven events.
Immediately following the Saturday events, both crews packed up the trailer and headed out to Worcester, Massachusetts to race out-of-league competition. The men’s varsity eight crew team continued their undefeated season against Franklin and Marshall College, pulling the fastest time of the day against a strong F&M crew, winning by a substantial 38 seconds with a time of 6:38.
The novice men’s eight, who also competed in the varsity men’s competition, also beat the F&M crew with a time of 7:12.
“I am thrilled by the fact that our boat outperformed historically very competitive schools, particularly Hamilton and F&M, and cannot wait to compete against stronger crews such as Hobart,” said two-seat of the men’s varsity eight Paul Etienne-Coisne ‘12, reflecting on the past weekends of racing.
The women’s varsity 8 also had a stellar race against five other crews from the Worcester area, beating three other strong crews. “While other crews will be cheering at the start, the primary thing on my mind is making sure that my crew is completely focused,” says cozswain of the women’s varsity boat Elizabeth Adami ‘12, explaining what goes through her mind at the start. “Our crew does very well on the start and I want to take the most advantage of that strength”.
Out of six boats, the women’s varsity eight crew finished third, finishing just a mere 15 seconds after Simmons College, the No. 11th ranked crew in the nation.
Foley, proud of the crew’s performance, states, “Keeping up with and beating boats that have women whose thighs are twice the size of those of our ladies makes us proud that we competed so well.”
The men’s second varsity crews, whose strength propelled them against UAlbany, raced in two four boats against strong crews such as Bowdoin College, UMass Lowell, and Clark University, fairing very well and finishing with times of 7:51 and 7:52.
Additionally, the women’s second varsity and novice crews also put up great fights, racing against strong crews from the Boston area.
Both crews look forward to next weekend when they take the long drive up to St. Lawrence to face an annual rival.
Adami however, is undeterred. “We have a very good chance to be competitive with the Saints, and we will do the most we can at practice this week to ensure a victory,” she said.