Go Fish!

Last Saturday may have marked the end of the fall season for the Raider men’s and women’s crew teams, but it was not the end of the teams’ successes. The fall is considered the preseason for both teams and is a fundamental time for overall team improvement and strength building. The preseason serves as a time when team dynamics and preparations for the regular season are sharpened. “The goals for the fall season are essentially taking the new talent and bringing everyone to the same page for technique and rowing together,” senior captain Brendan Matthews said. “Performing well is of course necessary, but more so for gaining recognition in the spring polls and building upon what speed we showed in the fall during winter training.” Both crew teams traveled to the Head of the Fish Regatta in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. during the Halloween weekend. For the men, the Varsity 8 placed second out of 17 teams with a time of 10:27.59. The boat lineup included sophomore Brenna O’Rourke, seniors Matthews, Dave Galos, Paul Kelly and Mike McCarthy, sophomores Tom Leonard and Eric Battaglioli, and first-years Bryan Pape and Austin Sigety. As for the Championship 4 race, the Raiders took first out of 35 teams with a time of 13:52.33, consisting of O’Rourke, senior Dave Perlman, Warren Holland ’02, Alex Woodcock ’02 and Tom Wines ’02. Another key time to perfect their skills before the spring regular season is during the long winter off-season, during which time the crew members will continue to practice by erging, lifting and running at least eight times a week. “We are lucky to be able to take a trip to Miami over winter break as well as our usual spring training trip,” Matthews said. “The weather does not allow us to get much practice time on the water before the spring season begins. We want to take full advantage of these two trips to continue our successes from the fall.” The winter is a crucial time for the women’s team as well, according to junior Jessie Slenker. “We always get stronger from winter training and I think [women’s head coach] Greg [Kruczynski] has a great workout program for us to reach maximum strength and speed by our first sprint race,” she said. “If we work hard as a team and stay focused on our goals, we won’t be stopped. Erging is painful both mentally and physically, but we have to get through winter training and go into the spring with as much vigor as we’re leaving this fall season.” The men’s team looks to stay headed in the same direction in the spring, as the team left the fall season with a good showing at the Head of the Fish. “The highlight of the Head of the Fish was definitely watching the men’s open championship 4 win,” Slenker said. “It was awesome seeing my first coach who taught me how to row, Alex Woodcock ’02, come back and take home a fish.” The Raider Mixed 8 was also successful, as the boat finished first out of 35 teams with a time of 11:34.66. O’Rourke was once again on the winning team and was joined by Woodcock, McCarthy, Holland, Wines and sophomores Alexandra Kellogg, Meg Whittaker, Lindsey Hochmen and Jane Hornickel. The women’s Novice 8 had three boats in its race and Colgate’s ‘B’ boat was the top team, finishing in fifth place with a time of 14:13.27. Colgate ‘A’ finished 10th with a time of 14:52.39 while Colgate ‘C’ ended up with a time of 16:37.06, placing it 26th overall. The Varsity 8 boat finished second out of 28 teams with a time of 12:32.23, nine seconds behind first-place UMass. In the Open/Championship 4 race, Colgate placed ninth out of 46 teams with a time of 15:28.56. Both teams performed well in their last regatta of the season and both the men and the women look forward to reaching even higher goals during practices in the winter and in the spring season.