April 12, 2012

WOMEN’S ROWING | Red’s Speed Will be Put to the Test at Virginia Invitational

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The Cornell women’s rowing team is primed to compete at the University of Virginia Invitational this weekend. With 9 teams participating in the event, the Red will face Clemson and San Diego on Saturday and  Virginia and Minnesota on Sunday.

“Everyone’s racing each other, it will be a great test of speed,” said head coach Hillary Gehman. “We’ll be able to compare our results to other schools and get a good idea of where each boat stands.”

The Red recently competed in the Class of ’75 cup against Princeton and Radcliffe. Though the outcome deviated from what the team expected, the Red performed better in the Cayuga Cup.

“We had disappointing results in the morning – we didn’t perform to our potential,” Gehman said.

In the Cayuga Cup last week, the Red defeated Yale in the first Varsity A, and the scores were very close in the second and third Varsity A.

Earlier in the season, the Red started off strong by bringing home all four races on the Onondaga Lake Outlet against BU and the tournament host, Syracuse. The team defeated BU in both the first Varsity eight and the second Varsity eight, each by a significant amount of time. The first Varsity eight defeated the Orange by over nine seconds with a time of 6:46.2 and the second Varsity eight swept BU by over twelve seconds with a time of 6:57.1.

The third Varsity eight and Varsity four raced Syracuse, also winning by significant margins. The latter won by a significant margin of 18 seconds and finished with a time of 7:48.4.

Gehman’s expectations for the tournament this weekend include the desire to win, especially if the the team can row at top form.

“I want us to perform to our potential,” Gehman said. “We’d really like to show our boat speed and to have a solid race in every boat.”

The University of Virginia is currently the No. 1 ranked women’s rowing team.

“It’ll be a tough competition,” Gehman said.

The Red was ranked No. 14 in the latest coaches poll.

“Its exciting for us,” Gehman said. “We hope to push into the Top-10.”

Gehman added that rowing is a team effort, and when asked to point out individuals that are expected to step up this weekend, she noted that it is hard to pick out an individual in a boat. Even so, she said that the coxswains play a significant part in the outcome of the race.

“Coxswains play a pretty big role,” Gehman said. “[Senior] Judy Amsalem and [senior] Jeannette Friedman are our Top-two coxswains. They’ll take charge of the crew and lead them.”

Original Author: Tina Ahmadi