Freshman women's and lightweight rowers thrive at Green Monster Invite

by Schuyler Evans | 11/9/06 6:00am

Dartmouth's lightweight rowers took first in their class on Saturday.
by Kawakahi Amina / The Dartmouth

There was a mass of spectators representing Dartmouth, Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern, Radcliffe, Boston University, the University of Massachusetts-Trinity and the University of Vermont huddled along Ledyard Bridge and boathouse, braving the frigid gusts that brought with them a small snow flurry. They eagerly awaited the first glimpses of their teams coming into view around the bends of the river.

All of the rowing fans were able to see the conclusion of the head race as the teams tried to make strong finishes to the bridge which served as the finish line. The echoes off of Ledyard Bridge of the coxswains goading their teams in the final seconds of the race were clearly heard by those who were standing on the bridge.

The two Big Green women's boats finished with times of 16:12 and 16:23, both of which were faster than any boat but Radcliffe's lightweight boat, which finished with a time of 15:55. Dartmouth's combined times, however, were good for first.

"The novice women's team put out a solid effort," freshman women's coach Amelia Siani said. "Having the fastest combined time of the day was a step in the right direction. We did not, however, have the fastest individual time of the day; I am not happy that the Radcliffe lightweight women's boat beat us. We will need to race harder and faster at this weekend's race in Princeton."

The Dartmouth men's lightweights led with times of 14:27 and 14:41, beating the Harvard lightweights, who followed with times of 14:52 and 14:54. The third Dartmouth lightweight boat finished in 16:30, giving it eighth in that weight class.

"We do want to get a little faster," men's freshman lightweights coach Brian Conley said. "We are looking at the Belly [of the Carnegie] next weekend. And being their first race, it was a really good start. We went out wanting to be aggressive and we were."

In the heavyweight class, Dartmouth finished fourth with a time of 14:36. Boston University took first with a time of 14:12, and second at 14:23. Trinity finished two seconds in front of Dartmouth with a time of 14:34.

"The guys raced well," freshman men's heavyweight coach Eric Kratochvil said. "They felt that they were able to step above the average practice performance. There is a lot of room for improvement."

Many of the racers this weekend had never raced before. Out of the men's heavyweight boat, half were walk-ons and had never rowed in a race, let alone at the collegiate level.

The lightweight men took first among lightweights and second compared to all of the male boats including heavyweights.

There were no trophies given to the winners of the races this past weekend, but each of the programs that had the best combined times in the men's or women's were given free Vermonsters from Ben and Jerry's by Dartmouth crew. Due to their dominance on the river, the Dartmouth women and men's heavyweights from Boston University received the treasured Vermonsters.

For Dartmouth's youngsters, however, it wasn't the reward of ice cream, but that of making progress early in their career that mattered according to Kratochvil.

"A race of improvement, that is the real race; every day getting a chance to get better," he said

The freshmen will have a second shot at racing before the cold winter months overtake the Northeast next weekend at the Belly of the Carnegie hosted by Princeton University.

According to the coaches, the race in New Jersey should be more competitive. After the freshman race at the Belly of the Carnegie on Nov. 12, there is to be the last varsity race of the fall in Boston at the Foot of the Charles on Nov. 18.

During the winter, all of the crews will be conditioning to prepare for the spring rowing season.

Advertise your student group in The Dartmouth for free!