The novice men’s squad had an excellent weekend of racing at Rockett’s Landing, taking home medals in both the Novice A 4+ and Novice B 4+ events. The Novice A 4+, coxed by Katie Oberg ’16, jumped out to a fast start in their event and never looked back, pulling a 7:43.8 to finish 21 seconds ahead of second place George Mason in a field that also included JMU, Virginia Tech, and VCU. By the time the 4+ crossed the finish line, the length of open water between William and Mary and Mason was so great that it was difficult to measure, but five or six boat lengths is a fair approximation. The lineup for the A 4+ was Scott Klein ’15 stroking, Marshall Irby ’16, Jack Bramley ’15, and Will Plews-Ogen ’15 in bow.
In the Novice B 4+ race, the Tribe’s rowers again jumped out to an early lead that they continued to build throughout the race. Both boats spent most of a practice the previous week working on the first 40 strokes of the race, focusing on the lengthen stroke that marks the transition between the opening Power 20 and the body of the race. In this race, according to stroke Adam Mullet ’15, that’s where the difference was made: “We were a little ahead of them after the start, but the lengthen stroke was where we really lost them, and we stayed up the rest of the race.” Coxswain Nic Querolo ’16 was victorious in his first race ever, having joined the team in January with no previous rowing experience. The B 4+ finished in 9:03.7, pulling in a full 31 seconds ahead of the second place 4+ from George Mason, with a lineup from stroke of Adam Mullet ’15, Martin Liu ’16, David Heras ’14, and Jamal Usmani ’16. The Novice 4B’s decisive victory can be seen below.
Later in the day, the novice men took on another challenge: racing in a Varsity 8+ event against George Mason’s 2V8+. The original scheduling of the Novice 8+ event was such that the novice men could not row both the novice 8+ race and the novice 4+ races, but with the sun out and their boats looking fast, the novice men wanted another opportunity to race- and got it against a tough Mason boat. The novice men’s 8+ stayed on Mason’s stern for the first 1000 meters, and while Mason ultimately pulled up on them to finish ahead by 16 seconds, the novice men’s finishing time of 7:46 (in rapidly deteriorating conditions) would have won the morning’s Novice 8+ race by 33 seconds. Below is a video of the final sprint with GMU’s Second Varsity 8 being the leading boat.
After a long day at the course, the novice men celebrated their victories with the time-honored tradition of throwing their coxswains in the river- hopefully the first of many coxswain tosses for them this spring. The novice men continue their season with a race in the Collegiate 4+ event at the Occoquan Sprints on Sunday, April 7, in a field that includes UVA, Grand Valley, UNC, and Duke- a strong field that should prepare them well for the boats they will see at SIRA’s and beyond.
The Novice Women were excited for their first regatta of the season, aware that this would be their first opportunity to see where they measured up against other Virginia schools. The women’s novice eight took home gold, finishing ahead of second place VCU by 6 seconds. The eight, coxed by Marin Haley, held a 28 rating through the race and a 30 through the sprint, favoring control over a high rating. This is similar to the Fordham race where they understroked their competition significantly. It shows that there is still a lot of potential for the boat to go faster if they can maintain this efficiency at higher ratings.
The second novice women’s entry was a four, stroked by Annabel Cater. The four finished in fourth, leaving the rowers with many lessons to take from the race. So far this week, the four has begun making the changes they saw necessary after the race in practice, and are looking forward to their next opportunity to compete.
Rocketts Landing brought the Varsity men to their first competition of the spring as the Fordham duel was restricted due to weather. The squad felt confident going into the weekend knowing that George Mason and VCU would be their major competition (it has been almost 8 years since the Tribe has beaten GMU in the eight). The Heavy 4 had a great race, despite an unorganized start procedure, finishing 2nd just 2 seconds behind George Mason. This boat was composed of Emma Cleary (cox), Danny Otto, Dave Barnisan, David Wasserstein, and Christ Stephens. They know they have some speed and look to build these next few weeks going into SIRA’s.
In the varisty 8 event, WMRC’s Light 8 came into the race knowing they would be racing a heavyweight George Mason as their biggest competitor. They rowed a good 2k, although everyone agreed it was not their best, finishing 2nd behind GM and well ahead of their heavy counterparts from VT and VCU. The crew was composed of Olivia Walton (cox), Ryan Fliss, Connor Kee, Bryan Monroe, Jamie Lewis, Alex Sullivan, Connor Finch, Matt Everett, and Logan Ferrell. Confidence should increase the next few weeks as SIRA’s will be their first race against lightweight crews. You can see the finish of that race below: