This past weekend the men’s rowing teams kicked off its season with competitive races. The lightweight team enjoyed some success in its matchup against Harvard and Penn in Pennsylvania, while the heavyweight team struggled in its season opening races against Harvard in Massachusetts. Both teams will use this past weekend’s races to learn from and build boat speed for future competitions.
The heavyweight team’s matchup against Harvard ended with the Crimson winning three of the four races, including the varsity eight, second varsity eight and third varsity race. The Red did manage to edge the Crimson in the freshmen eight race by almost three seconds. Harvard proved to be a talented opponent, finishing ahead of the Red’s varsity eight by 20.6 seconds and finished 12.4 seconds ahead of the Red in the second varsity race as well.
The results of Saturday’s competitions illuminated many areas that the team needs to improve upon.
“Saturday’s racing was eye-opening in terms of realizing that we have a lot of speed to gain throughout the rest of the season,” senior coxswain Ryan Anthony said. “The varsity boats have a lot of potential for improvement and can continue to get faster throughout the season if the right changes are made.”
Early in the season, it is difficult for teams to find a rhythm and work together as a unit. Anthony stated that the the biggest improvement the team needs to make is building upon the unit’s ability to work together.
“In general, the team needs to improve on unity and efficiency,” he said. “The key to some great crews is not only are they all together in sync, but they row efficiently so that all work exerted is used to drive the boat further.”
The Red does not have another competition for two weeks, so there will be plenty of time during training sessions for the team to optimize boat lineups and improve as individuals and as a team.
“In the next two weeks it will be vital for every person to continue to improve individually, but more importantly to integrate those improvements into helping the whole boat pick up speed,” Anthony said. “Teamwork is going to be essential and we will keep testing out different lineups of people until we find the best combinations possible.”
The lightweight team managed to keep the Matthews Trophy for the 19th straight season with a varsity eight victory over Penn. Harvard, who was not eligible for the Matthews Trophy, won the varsity eight race over the Red and the Quakers, as well as the second varsity race and second freshmen race. The Red did manage to win the third varsity race by almost 12 seconds over Harvard, and a large margin over Penn. Penn finished last in every race besides the first freshmen eight race in which the Quakers finished 2.3 seconds faster than the Red.
The Red finished the varsity eight race 2.7 seconds behind the Crimson, which for senior Jonathan Chamberlain was a positive outcome for the first race of the season.
“Our team had a strong showing for our first league race of the season,” he said. “Harvard is one of our fastest opponents and the result showed we are right there with them.”
This weekend’s competition helped bolster early season confidence in the Red going into the team’s next races. The teams will take on Princeton on Saturday and Yale on Sunday. The Red will look to use the confidence to bring extra intensity to practice sessions in order to build upon its early season successes.
“We just need to bring a little more racing intensity and apply the confidence we gained to this weekends racing,” Chamberlain said.
Original Author: Tucker Maggio-Hucek