Wesleyan Crew Edged Out in Tight Race Against Rival Trinity
Both the men and women’s crew teams raced admirably in an especially close dual meet against Trinity College. The highlight of the performance was the women’s victory in the Varsity 8 meet, culminating in one of the best regular seasons ever for women’s crew. The rest of the boats also performed valiantly, losing to a stellar Trinity team by small margins.
The race was originally scheduled to be hosted at Trinity but was moved to Middletown when Trinity’s river was found to be too shallow. The weather was optimal, relatively cool with a slight tailwind. As a result, there was a slight tail-current that bolstered the times of both teams.
Men’s crew put up a commendable performance against a Trinity team that is #2 in New England. Although all three boats lost, the margins were incredibly small, all five seconds or less. Both the first and second Varsity 8 teams lost by around five seconds, showing that Trinity still has a slight edge on Wesleyan. The third Varsity 8 came up short in a heartbreaker, falling short by a second and a half. The third Varsity 8 has had a spectacular season and breathes hope into the future of men’s crew.
Although the men’s team had a good race, the story of the weekend was the women’s crew performance. Women’s crew recorded their first victory over Trinity in over 20 years. They won by five seconds, an incredible victory considering that the Varsity 8 boat lost by 20 seconds to Trinity last year. This 25-second turnaround is accredited to both a change in attitude, and tremendous improvement throughout the year.
Alex Irace ’15 said, “I can feel the improvement from the beginning of the season up to now.”
After defeating a higher--ranked Trinity team, the women’s Varsity 8 can now look forward to the prospect of competing in the NCAAs. If women’s varsity finishes in the top eight, they get to send a boat to the NCAAs, and they get to send two votes if they finish in the top six.
Women’s second and third Varsity 8s also performed very well. The second Varsity 8 lost by around three seconds, and the third Varsity 8 lost by just over a second. However, the sentiment was very positive, especially within the third Varsity 8 boat, which had one of its best races of the season. As the race winded down, the coxswain called a sprint with 400m to go instead of waiting until 300m remained. As a result, women’s third varsity managed to pull within a second of an upset.
“We had the best sprint that we’ve had in any race this season” Irace said, “It was so close; we were so motivated. It really came down to the last few strokes.”
Next week, both the men and women’s teams will compete in the New England Rowing Championships. The women’s team will look to expand upon its fantastic resume to earn a trip to the NCAAs.