Crew | Men’s, women’s crew teams compete on Homecoming weekend
Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 02:10
Both the men’s and women’s crew teams were in action on Homecoming weekend. The men’s team participated in the Head of the Snake Regatta in Shrewsbury, Mass. on Oct. 12, and the women’s team was split in competition, with varsity competing in the Seven Sisters Sculling Head Regatta in South Hadley, Mass. on Oct. 13 and novice at the Head of the Snake Regatta.
The men’s team was represented by three boats, one in the Varsity Eight division, one in the Varsity Four division and the last in the Novice Eight division. The varsity eight boat had the most success, finishing in eighth place out of 14 boats with a time of 14:38.316. The Jumbos finished just 20 seconds behind third-place Middlebury. The varsity four boat came in 13th out of 14 entrants with a time of 17:34.505, and the novice eight boat finished 10th out of 12 boats with a time of 17:51.890.
Though they did not have particularly strong finishes, the Jumbos believe that these results are promising given the quality of the field and the team’s relative inexperience.
“Our varsity four finished near the back, but they had a lot of tough competition,” junior co-captain Krzystof Danielewicz told the Daily in an email. “Our novice boat finished 10th out of 12, which was near the back as well, but pretty good given that literally every guy in the boat started rowing this fall.”
The team’s success was largely inhibited by its inability to conserve energy throughout the races.
“We shortened our stroke near the end as we got tired, which means less time in the water and less power applied to move the boat,” Danielewicz said. “It’s really important to stay patient on the recovery when you’re rowing, and we lost a bit of that as we got fatigued.”
An underlying issue for the men’s crew team has been its overall lack of power, something that Tufts is looking to improve upon during the winter training season. The team believes that its technique is sound but hopes to increase its acceleration with each thrust of the oars.
Even though there is plenty to work on, the Jumbos are excited about their lineup flexibility, as there are a number of rowers who can compete in any type of boat, whether it be a single, four or eight.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how the lineups fare,” Danielewicz said. “We have more variety than usual in the boats, and I’m excited to see how they all turn out.”
The women’s varsity team raced in the Seven Sisters regatta against UMass-Amherst and Ithaca College on Oct. 13. The Jumbos were represented in a variety of races, including the Open 4, Open 2 and Open 1, both in the morning and afternoon sessions.
Tufts had its best result in the Open 4 race in the morning, as the three Tufts boats all placed in the top three. The first-place boat, comprised of senior Sofi Shield and juniors Maddie Morley, Brett Mele and Laura Aravena, finished the course with a time of 18:51.1.
“We did pretty well overall because of the awesome emphasis our coaches put on sculling in the fall,” Shield told the Daily in an email. “We have some girls in singles who are really fast, as well as some pretty competitive quads.”
What made the race particularly impressive for Tufts was the fact that the team needed to adjust to both a new course and a higher level of competition.
“Adjusting to a new course is always challenging, and good steering really plays a factor in how you do in the race,” Shield said. “Coming in against some competitive Div. I schools also provides a little bit of intimidation, but I think the team really brought it and showed they were confident in their ability to row well.”
Although the Jumbos considered the regatta an overall success, they still believe that there is significant room for improvement. There were two sets of races, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and the team experienced fatigue by the end of the second set.
“I think working on endurance is really important for the team and will help us go even faster during our shorter spring races,” Shield said.
The women’s team also raced just one novice eight boat at the Head of the Snake, in which the boat placed 14th out of 20. The Jumbos posted a time of 20:55.217. The eight-person boat was a bit of a change for the women’s team that has been primarily sculling throughout the fall season.
The next race for both the men’s and women’s teams is the Head of the Fish Regatta on Oct. 26 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. It is the last race of the fall season for the men’s team and the second-to-last race for the women’s team. Both teams are hoping for a positive showing to create momentum heading into winter.
“It’s a great chance for the men and women’s varsity programs to travel together and support each other, and I think we have the ability to do well in many of the events we’re competing in,” Shield said.