The Georgetown crew team travelled to Boston last weekend to participate in the 51st annual Head of the Charles Regatta. Considered one of the most prestigious events in American rowing, the Regatta attracted over 2200 entries this year. The Georgetown crew team raced in five events; four men’s and one women’s race, respectively.
Despite facing stiff competition and unfavorable weather conditions, Georgetown managed three top ten finishes in the Regatta. Perhaps the most impressive was the second place finish in the lightweight fours. The team, comprised of junior Robert Papel, senior Luke Prioleau, junior Kevin McGowan, junior Jack Sardinia and junior Conor McCarrick, got off to a slow start, finishing fourth in the first course. But they were able to close the gap throughout the last three courses finishing in second place; beating Columbia University by a mere second.
“It’s a really good result for them,” Men’s Head Coach Luke Agini said. “We are definitely going into the right direction. I would actually call it the performance of the weekend.”
Freshman Hector Formoso-Murias matched the lightweight fours with a fourth place finish of his own. In the lightweight singles, he finished in 19:05.433, a mere two seconds outside of third place.
“We knew Hector was good in a single, and that was a very good result,” Agnini said. “Because he probably has only been in the boat three or four times before the race.”
The men’s club eights also competed well, finishing in ninth place out of 41 teams with a time of 15:47.902. Despite the ninth place finish, the club eight, consisting of junior Vaughan Merrick, senior Ray Dunn, junior Hayden Pascal, junior Nakul Makkad, sophomore Sean Barry, junior Carson Yates, senior Michael Lewers, sophomore Max Paterson and senior Colette Gilner, finished 15 seconds behind the fifth place finisher.
“Club eights had a good race,” Agnini said. “I think for that day they went about as fast as they could have gone.”
The championship eights, which is considered one of the more competitive races, was where Georgetown saw the most improvement. Georgetown placed 18th out of 27 crews with the time of 15:09.943. The team was able to shave off six seconds from last year’s time, jumping up from 24th to the 18th. The boat was coxed by junior James Shearman. Shearman was joined by senior Jimmy McDermott, senior Bram Ouweleen, junior Robert Danziger, senior Graham Miller, junior Chris Cacace, junior John Carroll, sophomore Liam Carty and junior Bryan Renslo.
“I actually think the wind was worse this year, so it was more than six seconds of an improvement,” Coach Agnini added. “However, I also think they didn’t have that great of a performance. It took them first half of the race to get into a rhythm. So, the way I look at it is that it wasn’t their best performance, but they were still better than last year. Now we just got to get to a point where they do have a good performance and actually see where it puts them.”
Meanwhile the women’s team, which only competed in the championship fours, finished in 14th place out of 19 teams.
“I think in sports in general, you are never really satisfied, but it did really give a lot of positive things,” junior Margaret Dunne said. “And it’s just really motivation for our next race next weekend.”
Although the team made up of sophomore Beth Weinrich, sophomore Natalie Clark, junior Margaret Dunne, junior Christina Johnson and senior Savannah Kochinke, were beaten by conference rival Navy, they bested Boston University, another conference rival, by a whopping 30 seconds.
“I don’t put a lot of stock in the result,” Head Coach Stephen Full said. “But I’m happy with what we did. The goal was to have a good rhythm and to be able to get through all that all the way down the course. I’m happy with that.”
The men’s rowing team will be attending the Head of the Schuylkill in Philadelphia this weekend.