Elite Crew Athletes Compete at Head of the Charles
While the majority of the student body spent Homecoming Weekend celebrating on campus with family and friends, 12 intrepid athletes from both the men’s and women’s crew teams journeyed up to Boston to compete in the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta. These individuals represented Wesleyan exceedingly well in the two-day affair, as they bested numerous NESCAC rivals and other colleges from around the east coast and even managed to make history.
The Cardinal women began things on Saturday in the Collegiate Four event, which is the first time the team has ever competed in the event since its inception in 2004. With a time of 19.41.1, coxswain Brianne Weimann ’15, Annie Dade ’16, Emma Koramshahi ’16, Alex Irace ’15, and Christina Ermilio ’13 rowed into eighth place out of 36 teams, and managed to place ahead of Little Three rival Amherst by one place. This finish is good enough to earn Wesleyan a spot in the 2013 iteration of the event, as all teams that finish in the top 50 percent earn this honor.
A second boat of Cardinal women hit the water on Sunday in the Collegiate Eight with another milestone performance, as coxswain Ari Rudess ’15, Avery Mushinski ’15, Lucy Finn ’14, Kayla Cloud ’14, Clare Doyle ’14, Nicole Stanton ’15, Emily Johnson ’13, co-captain Robin Cotter ’13, and Emilie Sinkler ’14 went 18:25.5 to come in eighth of 26. That finish marked the highest HOTC Collegiate Eight finish that the team has managed since the event debuted in 2003.
While less than half of the women’s roster competed in the HOTC because of the selective nature of the event, co-captain Emilie George ’13 emphasized that the whole team deserves credit for the weekend’s successes.
“[The drive of the competitors] is a testament to the depth and passion of the team as a whole,” George said. “The freshmen have done a great deal to push the upperclassmen and elevate the level of performance across the board, and in turn the sophomores, juniors, and seniors have been a wonderful example to the novice women.”
George highlighted the performance of the two coxwains in particular.
“Head of the Charles is widely known as a ‘coxswain’s race’ because it is one of the most challenging and stressful races to navigate,” she said. “Brianne Wiemann and Ari Rudess both did an excellent job of steering the shortest course and communicating with their crews. As a team we are incredibly proud of their performance.”
On the Cardinal men’s side of things, co-captain Trevor Michelson ’13 similarly praised the men’s coxswains for translating the efforts of the rowers into results.
“The coxswains did an incredible job steering the boats on one of the toughest courses in the world, and the crews did a great job getting their bodies over and laying into the catch,” Michelson said.
The men had a triumphant weekend as well, starting things off on Saturday with an impressive fifth place finish out of 27 teams in the Collegiate Four. Coxwain Martin Villanueva ’15, Colin Russell ’15, Peter Cornillie ’15, Nick Petrillo ’14, and Ryan Heffernan ’16 clocked in at a time of 17:14.44, three seconds ahead of in-state NESCAC rival Trinity and a mere 0.7 of a second away from medaling. Their happiness with their performance was evident once they crossed the finish line, and their teammates felt the positive energy.
“Those guys had the race of their lives,” co-captain Sam Hoefle ’13 said.
On Sunday, coxswain Grant Nikols ’13, Bryce Hollingsworth ’13, Ben Record ’15, Tenzin Masselli ’15, David Hinds ’13, Hoefle, Christopher Nanda ’16, Peter Martin ’14, and Michelson round out the weekend nicely with a 16:09.89 race in the Collegiate Eight, good enough for eighth place of 37 teams and ahead of Trinity by nine seconds.
“The performances have been night and day for the three years since we’ve been here,” Hoefle reflected when all was said and done.
To close out the fall season, the men’s and women’s crew teams travel to Saratoga, New York this weekend to compete in the Head of the Fish Regatta.