Varsity four race highlights women's first fall regatta

by Taylor Duvall | 10/20/04 5:00am

The Dartmouth women's crew team launched into its fall head racing season Saturday, entering four boats in the New Hampshire Championships Regatta on the Merrimack River in Manchester, N.H. Despite less than ideal water conditions, the team walked away with silver and bronze medals as well as the New Hampshire Cup Team Trophy, determined by a combination of Dartmouth's women's and men's team scores.

The first varsity boat started second in a field of 32 boats in the Women's Open Eight race and finished third overall with a time of 15:46.1, just seconds behind University of Massachusetts' 15:40.64 and Community Rowing Incorporated's 15:40.66. Despite medaling, the first varsity boat was not completely satisfied with its performance.

According to co-captain Gretchen Gehrke '05, "It was clear that there was a lot of power in our boat, but we weren't able to utilize all of that power. As soon as we learn to harness our strength better and pull as one, we'll gain appreciable speed."

Also entering in the Women's Open Eight race was the second varsity boat, which started in the middle of the pack of 32 boats, passing two crews around the midway mark before finishing seventh with a time of 16:30.1.

The most impressive performance of the day belonged to the Women's Varsity Four as it walked through an impressive five crews in the beginning of its race to finish second behind Bowdoin.

As co-captain Kate Carolan '05 recounted, "We were really focused and held it together finishing strong despite the fact that the last mile was so windy we felt like we were being waked by an ocean liner. I feel if we had started behind Bowdoin we would have beaten them, but it was hard not to have anyone to race directly off of."

Additionally, Deb Newberg '07 turned in a sixth place finish in the Open Women's Single Event.

Coach Molly McHugh remarked, "I think it is always exciting to go to a regatta and have all of your boats place highly. The four certainly had one of the best performances of the day, racing a scrappy and hard piece. It was good to get a race under our belts as we head into our upcoming races on the Charles."

Next weekend the varsity, novice, and alumni women's crew teams will travel to Boston, where they will compete in the Head of the Charles Regatta.