Women’s crew tries for 4-peat

After months of erging and strength training, the women’s crew team is quickly approaching the opportunity to get back on the water. On March 20, the team will head to Myrtle Beach, S.C. for its annual two-week training trip.

“Spring break and getting into boats is really what we spend all winter thinking about. The amount of time we can spend rowing on spring break is invaluable since our season is so short once we get back,” said co-caption Katherine Robinson ’09. “The more strokes we take, the better prepared we can be to race.”

And race is exactly what the women will do on April 4 when they line up against the University of New Hampshire and Holy Cross squads in the first race of the season on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass.
The team was last on the water in October, when they wrapped up a successful fall racing season. The pinnacle of the fall was the Head of the Charles regatta in Boston, where the first varsity won the Championship Eight category and the second varsity took fourth.

However, the Ephs are taking nothing for granted. “There’s no guarantee that being fast in the fall means being equally fast in the spring. We’ve tried to keep that in mind as our winter training has progressed. Fall results matter, but ultimately you have to approach spring racing as an entirely new challenge,” Robinson said.

On Nov. 17, USRowing named Head Coach Justin Moore as head coach of the women’s junior national team. Last year, the U.S. junior women’s eight won a historic gold medal at the Junior World Championship.
Although the coaches were no longer at practices over winter training, there was plenty of excitement for the team. The women made connections beyond Div. III rowing by hosting a cross-training camp for a group of national team rowers, including several Beijing Olympians, over Dead Week. Most recently, on Feb. 22, Robinson won the Under-23 Lightweight women’s category at the CRASH-B Sprints World Indoor Rowing Championship in Boston by rowing 2000 meters in a time of 7:19.2.

Last year, the women won their third consecutive NCAA Div. III championship when the first and second varsity took second and third places in the grand final. The team hopes to repeat again this year.
“[The NCAA Championship] is certainly one of our ultimate goals, but there’s a lot we have to achieve before that,” Robinson said. “What we focus on is fighting to give ourselves the chance to compete for another NCAA championship, and this means working diligently during the regular season to prove that we’re one of the fastest teams out there.”