Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GU Wins Conference Title, Earns Bid to Nationals

This year’s No. 8 Georgetown coed squad is starting to look a lot more like last year’s national champion.

Over the weekend, the Hoyas captured the America Trophy in Kings Point, N.Y., to qualify for the ICSA coed national championship. The America Trophy is the national qualifying race for the MAISA division as well as the conference’s championship regatta. The top four finishers were invited to the ICSA national championship which begins on May 30.

After failing to qualify for the team race national championship earlier this spring, the pressure was on Georgetown to place at the America Trophy or spend May reading about races rather than competing in them.

“Historically we get to this regatta and the wheels fall off,” Head Coach Mike Callahan said. “It was the toughest regatta of the year, everybody sends their top sailors. It’s really do-or-die.”

The win was the Hoyas’ first at the America Cup and only the third time the team has qualified for nationals out of the America Cup. In every year except 1993 and 2006, Georgetown had to rely on one of two national at-large bids as its ticket to the national championship, bids it did not always recieve.

“Everyone goes into this race thinking they’re not going to get the at-large,” Callahan said. “Nothing is for sure, especially since there are so many good teams in our conference.”

The A team of junior Chris Behm and sophomore Carly Chamberlain placed second with 85 points, trailing Hobart and William Smith’s seniors Trevor Moore and Mandee Marki by 17. Behm and Chamberlain placed in the top five spots 13 times and won four races.

Callahn said that the second-place finish over Navy and St. ary’s was especially impressive considering the competition.

“Chris and Carly in A division in second is really great for them,” Callahan said. “It came down to the wire for them, and the kid that beat them [Hobart and William Smith’s Trevor Moore] is the front runner for national sailor of the year”

In the B division seniors J.B. Turney and Caroline LaMotte took first and were head and shoulders above the rest of the competition. It was their wide margin of victory – 15 points – which sealed the overall victory for Georgetown. Callahan was particularly impressed with Turney’s performance because Turney had limited experience in big-time races because for the last three years. Turney had been the third-best skipper with Andrew Campbell (SFS ’06) and Behm manning the A and B division boats for big races.

Georgetown’s victory means a likely jump in the national polls, but more importantly, the win gives the Hoyas the kind of confidence they will need in the national championship races.

“It really picked everyone’s spirits up. Now we really know we have as good a shot as any other team at winning the national championship,” Callahan said. “To win our conference championship we are right in line to win the national championship. There’s no other team out there we can’t beat.”

While Behm, LaMotte, Chamberlain and Turney have proven to be the team’s stars by winning races and taking home individual awards, Callahan said that increased effort on the part of the 33 other sailors has significantly contributed to the team’s recent surge.

“What happened with our team is our other sailors really picked up their game so our practices were just as tough as the regattas we would go to,” Callahan said. “Some sailors really made our practices tough and difficult and kept everyone on their game.”

Turney, for one, has not missed the help his team has received from the dozens of sailors that work hard but receive little public credit.

“Chris and I usually win the drills we do in practice,” he said. “But everyone has been working extra hard and making practice difficult for us.”

The ICSA fleet national championships begin with the women’s championships on May 23 in Norfolk, Va., and the coed national championship begins May 30 in Annapolis, Md.

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