Members of the men’s and women’s crew teams rowed their way to a successful finish this past weekend at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, Mass. The Cardinals entered four boats into the competition, all of which had to travel upstream on the rigorous three-mile course.
“The Charles course is definitely the most difficult course we ever encounter,” said Andie Kleeman ’16. “Over the race, there are seven bridges and four major turns that we have to navigate with boats very close to us.”
The Redbirds made their most significant triumph of the weekend by taking fifth place out of 40 teams in the men’s collegiate eights division. The crew consisted of coxswain Kleeman, Ethan Currie ’15, Sam Factor ’14, Nick Petrillo ’14, Peter Martin ’14, Chris Nanda ’16, Noah Solomon ’14, Ben Record ’15, and Mike Queenan ’17.
“I think our boat had an outstanding performance,” Kleeman said. “This is a really competitive race every year, and we were battling against some Division I teams as well as many of our typical Division III rivals. The conditions weren’t ideal with a lot of wind on the course, but our crew handled it really well. We were extremely happy to medal in a top-five position.”
The squad finished the course in a time of 15:42.27, which was good enough to edge out a Bucknell team by just over one second. The cards’ heated rival Williams completed the race approximately 14 seconds before them, which was good enough to give the Ephs a fourth-place finish.
“We definitely met our expectations for the weekend,” Kleeman said. “Our goal was to have the best piece we could given the circumstances, and we hoped that would mean medaling. We were really pleased to have accomplished what we did.”
The men raced one more boat during the weekend in the collegiate fours division. Wesleyan put together a group of cox Max Dietz ’16, Stephen Maceille ’15, Colin Mattox ’17, Peter Cornillie ’15, and Keegan Dufty ’14.
“I think that as a coxswain, you don’t want to separate your performance from that of the crew,” Dietz said. “That said, I think I kept the turns tight, and compared to Trinity behind us, we definitely had a shorter course. But I look at two places ahead being two seconds away and always feel like there is something that I could have done to have gotten us there. I also think that the last mile was our slowest, and that it may have been more productive to lengthen out a little more in the beginning so that we could have been more aggressive at the end.”
The team was able to come in 17th place, which was good enough to qualify for next year’s competition.
“We know there is a lot of speed that we can pick up coming into the winter and that a lot of the crews that beat us at the Charles will be in our sights in the spring, like Trinity,” Dietz said.
The women’s teams had strong showings as well. Despite coming in 14th out of 25th in the women’s collegiate eights division, the women’s team was on pace to medal before getting smacked with a hindering penalty.
“We were very fast off the starting line, and we received a 1:00 minute penalty for starting too close to the boat in front of us, pushing us back in the final standings,” said captain Clare Doyle ’14. “Regardless of the penalty, we are very excited about our performance down the course.”
The team of coxswain Brianne Wiemann ’15, Emilie Sinkler ’14, graduate student Emily Johnson ’14, Emma Koramshahi ’16, Kayla Cloud ’14, Doyle, Annie Dade ’16, Remy Johnson ’16, and Ava Miller-Lewis ’17 ended with a time of 19:09.23, which put them ahead of the University of Pittsburgh but behind Middlebury by six-tenths of a second. The future holds promising results for the ladies, as their raw time was fourth-best in the category.
“We were very happy since our raw time was second only to Trinity among NESCAC crews and faster than traditionally strong crews from Bates, Wellesley, [Worcester Polytechnic Institute], and Williams,” Doyle said.
The Cardinals also entered a boat into the women’s collegiate fours division and came out of the competition with a 19th-place performance out of 35 teams. The group of Hannah Korevaar ’14, Kate Davis ’16, Avery Mushinski ’15, Nicole Stanton ’15, and Lucy Finn ’14 finished with a time of 19:40.280. Wesleyan finished just over a second after rival Hamilton.
Both the men’s and women’s teams will look to build on this past weekend’s showing when they travel to Saratoga Springs, N.Y. for the Head of the Fish Regatta on Saturday, Oct. 26.
“With everyone being allowed to race, it’s a great opportunity for the team to find some more speed on the water before heading indoors for the winter training season,” Doyle said.
The men’s team is hoping that its past achievements at the Fish will pay dividends this year.
“We’ve had a lot of success historically at the Fish,” Dietz said. “I think that with the success of the first boat and the second boat winning the JV race last year, we can do very well. The Charles is always the main focus of the fall, and so I think the team will come into the Fish a lot more relaxed. I believe the guys on the first boat will be looking for medals after their strong performance, and the second boat will be ready to prove that they are still the boat that won last year and will be ready to crack some skulls.”