The women’s rowing team wrapped up a successful season this past weekend at the Cornell Autumn Classic scrimmage. After working on the water since the season began shortly after freshman move in day, the team transitions into winter conditioning.
Along with an alumni row and some unofficial scrimmages against crews from other colleges, a few boats from the team participated in two official regattas: the famous Head of the Charles regatta in Boston and the Princeton Chase.
Because there are not nearly as many races as in the spring, the fall season typically is not as busy for rowers, and it is a great opportunity to really work on stroke technique.
“As a whole, the team has been hardworking and focused, and everyone is really dedicated to fixing their technique on the water,” said freshman Mackenzie Pearson. “We’ve made a lot of progress, and it’s important to build on that over the next few months.”
The team sent its varsity four boat to the Head of the Charles Regatta on Oct. 23. The Charles is an internationally renowned regatta, so the rowers faced stiff competition from not only other American college crews, but also a few boats from countries such as Denmark and France.
The lineup overcame extremely difficult, windy conditions to finish in a very strong sixth overall, fourth among collegiate crews in the championship fours division.
“We had a very solid result at the Head of the Charles in mid-October,” said head coach Liz Dennison. “The championship four raced aggressively and posted a competitive result against fast competition.”
The next weekend, the team traveled to New Jersey to participate in the Princeton Chase, a nearly three-mile race attended by numerous college teams. Out of 59 racing crews in the competitive varsity eight division, the Cornell “A” boat came in 16th place, while the Cornell “B” varsity finished in 40th.
In the varsity four division, 27 boats raced and the “A” boat finished in seventh place, while the “B” four ended up in 17th. The novice eight also had an excellent race, earning silver as only Princeton was faster in a field of 18 boats.
With the season over, the team is looking ahead to a winter full of hard work, in order to be in top shape and ready to go once the spring racing season comes around.
“Over the winter, we will be focusing on maintaining the technical changes we made this fall on the erg, as well as gaining strength, speed and fitness,” Dennison said. “Every day is an opportunity to move forward, build confidence and earn more speed for the spring racing season.”
The spring season will bring new challenges, but the team is ready to compete against the top teams in the country, according to the head coach.
“The key will be consistency, staying motivated and supporting and pushing each other towards excellence,” Dennison said. “The athletes have embraced that and are already hard at work indoors preparing for the spring.”