WesCrew Represents at Rowing Championships
The Wesleyan men’s and women’s crew teams set out with high hopes at the New England Rowing Championships last Saturday. These postseason races against the toughest squads in the region gave the races a greater sense of importance than the previous two races Wesleyan attended at the same 2000-meter course on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. Unfortunately, any momentum the Cardinal rowers may have developed over the course of their spring sprints seemed to fizzle, as both the men’s and women’s teams turned out disappointing finishes at the season’s end.
Wesleyan’s male rowers had put together a very productive season leading up to the Championships. Throughout the first four races of the spring, the first men’s varsity boat was untouchable, beating ten different colleges en route to an undefeated record. This hot streak propelled Wesleyan to become the third-ranked team in New England, behind only Williams and Trinity, who proceeded to hand the Cardinals their only losses of the spring in the following two weeks. Heading back up to the familiar waters of Worcester, the first varsity boat appeared poised to compete with these traditional powerhouses for a medal. That was not the case; however, as the Cardinals floundered in their preliminary heat, with their time of 6:00.95 good for third behind Worcester Polytechnic Institute (5:57.64) and the University of Rhode Island (5:59.58), besting only Boston College (6:02.25). This perplexing finish, behind two crews Wesleyan had beaten earlier this spring, relegated the first boat to the petite final, where Colby (6:03.45) and the University of Massachusetts (6:05.76) topped the Cardinals (6:06.92), who finished ninth out of 14 boats. The second and third men’s varsity boats found somewhat more success in their respective divisions, with the second boat qualifying for its grand final and earning a fifth place finish with its time of 6:14.79, while the third boat came out third after clocking in at 6:28.15.
The Cardinal women had not matched the men’s team’s early prosperity this spring. While the first women’s varsity boat did manage to top several of its competitors, it did not win outright in any of its sprints this spring. This past weekend at Worcester did not prove to be any better for the Cardinal women, as the first boat placed a disappointing fifth in its preliminary heat, qualifying Wesleyan for the third-level final. Once there, the first boat finished behind Middlebury (7:03.56) with a time of 7:05.93, placing the Cardinals 14th of the 17 boats in their division. The second varsity boat did not advance after finishing last in its heat, good for 14th amongst the 15 second boats. On a brighter note, the third boat placed third in its heat to advance to the grand final, finishing fourth overall.
Wesleyan crew will take to the waters for its last race of the spring at the ECAC National Invitational Rowing Championships on Sunday, May 8.