The Stonehurst Capital Invitational Regatta was held on the Genesee River on Sunday, gathering some of the best crew teams from the northeastern United States and Canada. Rain threatened throughout the day, but never made a major appearance, with temperatures in the upper 50s. Water conditions were impressive despite the light headwind, which paved the way for some great racing.
The format of the unique regatta called for a 5,000-meter time trial, known as a head race, in the morning with the crews paired up for a 1,500-meter sprint in the early afternoon. Each of the events offered was split into two divisions: Open and Collegiate. The men’s team competed in the Collegiate category, while the women raced Open.
“Of the 30 crews racing on Sunday there were five crews racing at a different level. I’m happy to say that Colgate was one of these crews,” Raider women’s Head coach Greg Kruczynski said.
Raider women’s crew had a glorious day on the water, placing third overall and taking the silver medal in the women’s open eight event. The women placed second only to Western Ontario, while triumphing over last spring’s NCAA bronze medalist, Radcliffe, as well as Syracuse University.
“The Stonehurst represented an opportunity to show the rest of the rowing community the true character behind Colgate rowing,” senior captain Toria Johnson said. Beating Radcliffe illustrates that it takes more than a big name to overcome ‘Gate crew.”
The women also entered a second varsity eight, comprised mostly of first-years and sophomores, which fared well against the other second eight in the competition.
“We had a very productive day on Sunday,” Kruczynski said. The only downside was that we had a steering problem in the Four with coxswain. Even with this problem, our women still finished eighth out of 19 crews.”
The men’s team raced well against some stiff competition. Colgate entered its varsity eight and a second varsity eight in the Collegiate event, with the first eight earning a bronze medal, falling short to Marietta and arch-rival Hobart.
The majority of this year’s men’s team is sophomores, after the squad lost a decorated senior class last spring. Considering the youth of the team, the coaches are working hard to give the rowers the experience they need to row at a still higher level as the season progresses.
Youth does not mean that there is lack of ability. Last year’s first-year class is one of the most decorated in the history of Colgate’s novice teams, earning medals in nearly every championship regatta that the team attended. At the IRA Nationals, a first-year four with coxswain and a first-year eight entered and both finished in the top 16 crews in their respective events.
The men and women of Colgate rowing will take on Hamilton College this Sunday at home on Lake Moraine.