The women’s rowing team concluded its fall 2012 competition season on Saturday at the Head of Schuylkill Regatta. As the team continues to prepare for the intensity of the spring competition season, the regatta served as a fine measuring stick.
The Owls raced six boats, spread evenly amongst three races: the women’s open fours with coxwain final, the women’s club eights final, and the women’s open heavy championship eights final. The A boat of the women’s open heavy championship eights final had the strongest outing of the day, placing seventh with a time of 14:19.75.
“[The race] was textbook, phenomenal, exactly how- I could not have asked for a better race,” A boat senior rower Joanna Sutor said. “There were absolutely no boats around us- just how they sent us off.”
“We just stayed so internal; the boat was super set like, technique-wise, it was on-point,” Sutor said. “There is absolutely nothing from that I would have changed to make that better.”
“The only thing that we could work on is overall fitness, and that’s what we’re going to get this winter,” Sutor said.
The same race also included the lowest result of the day, the B boat placed twenty-fourth. However, this performance did not cause too much concern for the rowers.
“It was okay, there was a lot of things that our boat could work on as a whole, like technique and power,” B boat sophomore stroke seat Laura Turner said.
Turner attributed some of the boat’s issues to a general lack of aggression.
“We just need to work on our fitness, and that will come in time,” Turner said. “[Overall this season,] definitely, we’ve improved from last year, from the spring,”
The day began well with the women’s open four with coxwain A boat placing tenth with a time of 16:19.53. This boat featured the same rowers who raced in last weekend’s Head of the Charles Regatta where the boat placed seventh.
“It took us a while to get into the swing of things, but we had a good fight at the end against [Old Dominion’s] B boat,” A boat senior stroke seat Paige O’ Sullivan said. “[Our race mentality at the Head of the Charles Regatta] was great because it’s such an exciting race; everyone should race at the Charles, if you’re a rower.”
“So, we’re just trying to bring that excitement, and energy, and aggressiveness to the Head of Schuylkill which is a great race, but it’s not as prestigious as the Charles,” O’ Sullivan said. “This is just such a fun race, and I’ve rode it all four years, so it’s great to finish [the fall competition season] here at the Schuylkill- the home course.”
The B boat in this race finished just behind the A boat, finishing fourteenth with a time of 16:28.49.
The remaining results were from the women’s open club eights final. The B boat finished in eighteenth place with a time of 15:53.20, and the A boat finished twenty-second with a time of 16:12.82.
“[Today was a] great step forward,” new coach Rebecca Smith Grzybowski said.
“Clearly, we still have a lot of work that we still need to do,” Grzybowski said. “I’m really happy with the attitude, though; I think people are in the right spot and excited to get into the winter and work hard, and move faster in the spring.”
With fall competition season now over, the Owls will transition to winter training.
“[Today’s race] gives me a lot of hope going into the winter training,” Sutor said. “I just want to train hard now; that just made me so pumped up.”
In the winter, the Owls focus primarily on building strength in order to improve their overall speed for the spring competition season.