With the Connecticut River thawed, WesCrew gets a leg up in preparation for the spring season.

After a cold and snowy winter, the Connecticut River has finally thawed, which means the men’s and women’s crew teams can leave the musty rowing room and get back on the water.

“We’ve been lucky this year,” wrote women’s Captain Gillian Mahoney ’15 in an email to The Argus. “Usually our biggest obstacle is weather, but the Connecticut is looking great, and we are grateful to be back on the water so soon. Our coxswains face some challenges with the floating debris and ice but, as always, they rise to the challenge.”

In a sport that depends as much on weather conditions as it does on a team’s ability to row, the Cardinals are taking full advantage of their early opportunity to be on the water and see dealing with the elements as a reasonable tradeoff. While Little Three rival Williams may be trying to clear the ice on their lake for a few more weeks, the Cardinals are focused on taking advantage of their opportunity.

“We’re fortunate that we generally get better water than any other crews in New England,” said men’s Captain Ethan Currie ’15. “Williams’ lake will be frozen for several more weeks, but we’re already rowing on the Connecticut. With that in mind then, we need to not worry about what the other crews are doing. We just need to focus on our own rowing and our own fitness. We need to seek every advantage we can get, and we are certainly in a good position to do so.”

During the offseason, both teams were confident that they had the potential to increase speed as long as they put in hard work. With only six seniors on the women’s team and five on the men’s, the squads will be looking to their up-and-coming talent to find that extra push needed in the last few hundred meters that could be the deciding factor in a close race.

“We all knew we had to put in some serious work if we wanted to go faster, but we knew we had lots of potential for speed,” Currie said. “We also have a lot of young guys with serious room to grow and move up the ladder, and they all worked very hard this winter and are now showing us what they can do on the water.”

Over spring break, the teams travelled to DeLand, Fla. where they were able to put in some quality time on the water as they get set for their first regatta of the season against Coast Guard Academy on Saturday, March 28 in Worcester, Mass. Both teams hope to extend win streaks against the Bears, with the women trying to make it three straight and the men hoping to keep alive a streak that started in 2005.

“We are looking forward to Coast Guard this weekend,” Mahoney said in an email to The Argus. “They are a solid team and we are getting pumped for some good racing. We got some really great training down in Florida over break and are ready to race hard.”

According to Currie, the Cardinals are eager to get their season underway and intend to send a message across the conference that WesCrew is ready to make a splash at the New England Championships.

“This spring we want to get a medal at New Englands for the first, second, and third boat,” Currie said.

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