Women's crew places second in Petite Final
The Dartmouth women's varsity eight boat proved itself worthy of competing in the NCAA rowing championship last weekend. The Big Green captured second place in the Petite Final and eighth place overall.
Dartmouth was in front of the field in the Petite Final for the first three quarters of the race but was edged by the University of Minnesota. Minnesota finished the 2,000-meter heat in 6:43.53 while Dartmouth finished right behind in 6:43.95. The University of Tennessee boat followed in third, finishing in 6:44.32.
Yale claimed the tournament championship for the fifth time in NCAA history.
The Big Green turned heads after the team went into the regatta ranked 15th out of the 16 boats racing. Dartmouth defeated other three wild card bids and several team bid boats, exceeding expectations.
"Out-racing your ranking is always nice," head coach Wendy Levash said.
Being in the top ten at the national level is a serious step forward for the program, which had not been to the NCAA Championship since 1999.
"It does put Dartmouth on the map," Levash said.
"It was a perfect end, we could not have asked for anything else," captain Anne Kennedy '07 said.
Kennedy was one of the four seniors who competed in their last collegiate race this weekend. The others included Kate Davison '07, Kelli Hvorecny '07 and coxswain Laura Bozzuto '07.
"I think all of our seniors did a great job in handling the pressure. These four seniors have been instrumental in rebuilding the team and doing well in the NCAAs," Levash said.
A calculated lineup alteration proved successful for the Big Green.
"We made some lineup changes that enabled us to achieve more speed," Levash said.
At the Eastern Sprints, Radcliffe beat the Big Green by more than three seconds but trailed Dartmouth in the NCAA heat by over five seconds.
Dartmouth is now looking toward the future in hopes of receiving a team bid next year, allowing it to bring two varsity eight boats and a varsity four boat as well.
"To claim that the whole team is established, the whole team needs to be there. A near-future goal is getting a team bid in the NCAAs," Levash said.
The momentum created by the team's high placement in the NCAAs has the potential to propel the program to a higher level. The hope is that the new confidence brought on by this recent achievement might trickle from the four returning rowers in the boat down to the rest of the team.
"The girls who went brought home an excitement that will hopefully motivate the whole team to get to [the NCAAs]," Levash said.