Crew races over break, makes national impact

by Amy Hatch | 6/23/95 5:00am

After a disappointing finish in the Eastern Sprints last May, the men's heavyweight crew team wanted to make amends and last week it did just that at the annual Intercollegiate Rowing Association race in New Jersey.

"I think the varsity team went in disappointed with sprints and wanted to prove themselves," Coach Scott Armstrong said. "I think at the IRA's they were more focused and determined. Every stroke was very intense and very focused."

The race, which celebrated its 100th anniversary, had an unusual high caliber of participants. Of the 18 teams that participated, all are in the top 20 in the nation.

"I think it was the best field of competition in the history of the race," Armstrong said.

"The competition there made this the national event of the season," he said.

The eight-man Big Green boat was off to a quick start, but midway through lost a little momentum. In the end, the Dartmouth squad pulled out a 10th place finish though.

"I think they went out a little hard in the first heat," Armstrong said. "They had led the pack and then fell back some. In the last race they came back from behind though in the last 1,000 meters to place 10th."

A highlight during the tournament for the Big Green was the first place finish in the two-man shell competition. Aaron Hayward '95 and Matt Wiltshire '96 rowed together in the race, which is not often offered in most regattas.

"They rowed a championship race," Armstrong said. "They got off to a fast start, kept the early lead putting pressure on other teams by staying ahead and finished off the job."

The Big Green will continue to practice during the summer with rowers who are in the New England area. August 8-13, Dartmouth will participate in the Canadian Henley, which is the biggest club race in North America.