Freshmen rowers show promise, speed at Invitational
Novice men's and women's crew began competition last weekend at home in the Dartmouth Invitational.
Freshman crews from the University of New Hampshire, Columbia, Boston University and Dartmouth competed in the evert. The three-mile race on the Connecticut River ended at Ledyard Bridge.
The women's team raced particularly well finishing first with a time of 16 minutes, 55 seconds and also capturing second and fifth places, Coach Amanda Cashman said.
"It was nice that our three boats placed in the top five of the eleven boats competing," Cashman said. "I was really excited because we had never won this race before. I feel it's a mark of good things to come."
For the men, the first heavyweight and lightweight boats tied for second place with a time of 15:24, 34 seconds behind Boston University. The second lightweight and heavyweight boats placed fifth and sixth, respectively.
Despite inexperience, the performance of the teams was good, heavyweight coach Max Borghard said.
"I thought they performed pretty well," Borghard said. "It's the very first race for a lot of the novices because I only have six experienced rowers. They did all right."
Lightweight novice crew member Jim Zak '97 said the times were good, given the stillness of the water but the team knows it can do better.
"Being the first race, it wasn't quite as perfect as it was in practice before because of the anxiety," Zak said. "However, we know if we get that calmness and control that we have during practice, we can only move faster."
Borghard said as the teams began to work together more, improvement has been evident.
"They are still very rough and still are in the beginning process," Borghard said. "They've been getting smoother every week, though. The guys have a lot of determination, and I think that will help them out."
The novice crew teams will travel to Yale this weekend to compete in the Yale Invitational which hosts approximately eight to nine women's teams and 16-17 men's teams.
The men are looking forward to the strong competition and see the Yale race as an opportunity to establish themselves, according to Zak.
"This will be a bigger race," Zak said. "We're going in not only to do well, but to make our name known that Dartmouth is the crew to look out for in the spring."
On the women's side, the goal is to use the fall season to build for the spring.
"I want to take advantage of these fall races to prepare ourselves for this spring," Cashman said. "I really am very confident with the class that we've had. This is the strongest class I've seen since I've been here."