Crew places well at Conn. Regatta

by Eric Erb | 10/11/00 5:00am

The Dartmouth men's and women's rowing teams competed on Sunday in the 26th annual Head of the Connecticut Regatta on Harbor Lake in Middletown, Conn.

The teams medaled in a number of events, as the lightweight men, led by John Nichols '01, won two gold, one silver and one bronze medal, and the women won a silver medal.

"It was our best showing at the Head of the Connecticut in a long time," Nichols said. "The teams are in great shape. It was a good start to the season as we gear up for the Head of the Charles in two weeks."

Dartmouth's first gold medal of the day was captured in the fifth event: the Men's Intermediate Eights. The lightweight team won the race with a time of 17:36.33, which was more than eighteen seconds faster than the second place finisher, Northeastern University. The heavyweight team came in fifth, finishing in 18:32.57.

But the rowers on the lightweight team were far from finished, as this was the first year that the Head of the Connecticut Regatta allowed all of its competitors to compete in multiple events. Dartmouth took second in the Men's Lightweight Eights, finishing 12 seconds behind the New York Athletic Club -- a boat that included four U.S. Team members.

They then competed in the Men's Open Fours, an event that featured 20 boats from 18 different schools and clubs. The Dartmouth lightweight men finished third in the event, behind the Indoor Rowing Institute and Brown University.

The final lightweight event of the day was the Men's Lightweight Fours. Dartmouth entered both an "A" and a "B" boat in the race, finishing first and fifth, respectively. The team that won the race finished in 17:50.99, 17 seconds ahead of second place New York Athletic Club, to win their fourth medal of the day.

The Dartmouth women began their day in the Women's Intermediate Eights. Of the whopping 32 boats that competed in the race, Dartmouth's two women's teams finished fourth and 15th.

A Dartmouth boat also raced in the Women's Open Eights, and finished second with a time of 18:07.58, bringing home the silver medal.

One of the highlights of the day, beyond the five medals and nine top-10 finishes that Dartmouth enjoyed, was the outstanding performance of Nichols, who "rowed for the cycle," completing three races of 3.5 miles each within five hours.

He won a gold in the heavyweight eights, a silver in the lightweight eights, and a bronze in the heavyweight fours. This is Nichols' third year on the men's Lightweight Varsity eight.

"In my first race, I didn't know the course very well, so it was difficult to pace myself," Nichols explained. "Then I went straight into the second race, which was much smoother. I felt pretty good in that race because we've practiced enough so that back-to-back races were tiring, but manageable.

"After the second race, again I went straight into the third, which was the Heavyweight Four. It hurt a lot. The last 2000 meters were pretty painful, the icing on the cake."

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