Lynch Rows To Bronze At CRASH-B Championships

With the slowly thawing banks of Boston’s Charles River beckoning, thousands of athletes descend on this rowing hub of the Northeast each February. These die-hard denizens of the rowing community gather not to anxiously await the time they can first dip their racing shells into the water, but rather so they can curiously avoid the river altogether.

What started in 1980 as a fun race among 20 friends at Harvard’s Newell Boathouse, the CRASH-B World Indoor Rowing Championships quickly became a staple of a sport that has no designated off-season. The main ingredients: the Agganis Arena at Boston University, 3,000 determined athletes, 100 brand new Concept-II ergometers, 2,000 meters of imaginary racecourse, a whole lot of lactic acid and one Golden Hammer – the prize for having the best time in each category.

Each competitor has 2,000 meters of imaginary racecourse to cover in the fastest possible time. The strategy is to push yourself as hard as you can go, then dig even deeper – and be sure not to keel over before the odometer reads zero.

Four members of the Colgate women’s rowing team decided that they would make the pilgrimage to this illustrious event. Thus, last Friday afternoon, seniors Maureen Lynch and Jane Hornickel and sophomores Ande Reisman and Caitlyn Perlman took to the road with one goal in mind – the Golden Hammer.

Competing under the artful pseudonym of Team Aquafresh, all four women placed in the top half of the field of 333 collegiate rowers, post-collegiate enthusiasts and even a few Olympians. Of the competitors on Team Aquafresh, Lynch finished first, posting her second best time ever. The 2005 Academic All-American’s blistering time of 7:00.80 earned her a bronze medal in the collegiate division and placed her 10th overall. This was her best performance since the 2004 CRASH-Bs, in which she posted the current school record.

“I was not expecting to get a medal, and I couldn’t believe it when they called my name down to the awards ceremony,” Lynch said. “I was still recovering and trying to catch my breath, and had to go ask Jane [Hornickel] if they had really called me.”

The Colgate senior said she gets very nervous before races, especially in front of audiences as large as the one present in Boston. But it’s apparent that such nervous energy only betters her performance, as she has rowed to her two fastest career times at the CRASH-B Sprints.

“I would say that [nervous energy] is a good thing,” Lynch said.

The men and women of the Colgate rowing teams will venture to Georgia for spring break; the women are headed to Savannah, while the men will take residence at Lake Lanier. Both teams are emerging from successful fall seasons and hard fought winter training sessions. The Raiders will open their season by traveling to Lake Cayuga to square off against Ithaca College on March 25.