Fall Rowing Seasons Wraps Up

Garrett Ley and Paul Kasabian

The men’s rowing team started off a bit slowly, which was to be expected after losing many talented and accomplished seniors, but they picked up steam as they garnered more experience and finished up the fall on a good note. At the Navy Day Regatta held on Saturday, October 11, Colgate raced two boats: The Varsity Four and the Varsity Eight. The Four took 11th out of 20 in a race won by Rutgers, while the V-Eight took sixth of 13 boats. Colgate finished a mere tenth of a second ahead of St. Joseph’s to finish in the top half of the V-Eight competitors on this day. Navy dominated the race by garnering a time of 13:00.2, 38.5 seconds ahead of Drexel.

Colgate went to Cambridge, MA the following week for the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta and finished in 10th place out of 69 boats. The hometown boys from Harvard took the event with a time of 15:03.974.

There was no rest for the weary, as the Raiders then traveled East for the Head of the Fish Regatta. The story of this regatta was that all of Colgate’s rowers were able to get their feet wet and partake in the event. The silver medalists on this day were the JV-Eight+(second only to Hobart) and Novice-Four+(second only to Williams) boats. The Varsity Eight+ boat took third place ahead of RIT in a field of 18 boats, and Wesleyan College took the event. The Varsity Four+ finished in fourth place out of 28 boats, and the Novice Eight+ finished in a respectable 20th out of 31 boats even though one of the rower’s footrests broke, which meant that he could not generate enough power to compete in the race.

The men’s rowing season finished up in the City of Brotherly Love, partaking in the Frostbite Regatta and Braxton Regatta last weekend. The men’s frosh/novice four won the Final B race, beating Lehigh by 53 seconds. The Varsity Four grabbed the silver in the Final C event, a mere one second behind Philadelphia University. The freshmen/novice 8+ and Varsity Eight boats took fifth to finish the day.

Last Sunday, which was the last day of competition for the men unti next April, Colgate had a moderately successful showing. The JV 8+ boat impressed all its onlookers with a gold-medal winning time of 4:57.57, topping the hometown crew of Drexel by four seconds. The frosh/novice boat finished in fourth, and the Varsity 8+ boat finished in fifth.

With three fall invitationals under its belt, the women’s crew team has a good sense of where it stands heading into the training season.The team kicked off the fall on a high note in a friendly race against Hamilton College at Lake Moraine on October 12, as both of Colgate’s varsity boats edged out the Hamilton boats. Two weeks later, at Head of the Fish in Saratoga Springs, NY, the women’s Four A team consisting of senior co-captain Meredith Remmer, sophomore Elspeth Monigle, sophomore Annabelle Glass, senior co-captain Sarah Kruse and sophomore coxswain Natalie Hanigan finished second out of 28 boats. Another Colgate boat placed 11th. In the Varsity Eight race, Colgate landed an eighth-place finish.

Squaring off against some bigger schools at the Syracuse Invitational on November 1, the Raiders met some adversity for the first time all year. The women’s V-Four finished 13th out of 16 teams, while the Varsity Eight finished ninth out of 12 teams.

“We had to race against a lot of big schools like Syracuse, Cornell, UConn and Buffalo,” Kruse said, referring to the Syracuse Invitational. “It didn’t go as well as our first couple races, but it gave us something to work on for the rest of the winter training season.”

The Raiders fought through the fall season despite having a small team that has been hit hard by graduation in recent years. According to Kruse, the Raiders have lost eight, nine and five seniors, in order, over the last three years.

“We’ve lost a huge chunk of our program, and quite frankly if you don’t get the recruits coming in you really have no choice but to get inexperienced freshman and hopefully hold onto them,” Kruse said.

Nonetheless, the Raiders are looking to do big things when the spring season rolls around. Several key rowers will return from study abroad trips and a spring break trip to Savannah will help the team be at full strength come spring time.

While the Raiders don’t have as much depth as opposing schools, they plan to make up for it with hard work.

“We have a long, hard season ahead of us,” Kruse said. “We really have to push ourselves every day. Our season’s tough, because you’re staring at a clock looking at how well you’re doing the entire time. But if we can be mentally tough, we can really do well, and probably do a lot better than a lot of people would expect from us because we’re so small numbers wise.”