Women’s Rowing Succeeding with Eastern Sprints Regatta Still Ahead

As their season nears its end, Colgate University Women’s Rowing is enjoying an upward trajectory with many regattas and races now under their belt.

The season has gradually ramped up in order to prepare the team for the Patriot League Championship. The Raiders first lined up back on March 25, in Allentown, Penn. for a scrimmage against Villanova and Lehigh. Due to weather concerns, the planned 2000-meter race was adapted to a scrimmage of 1500-meter pieces. Colgate raced a 1v8, 2v8, 3v8, and v4.

The following weekend, Colgate crews set out on the Cayuga inlet for a dual against local rival Cornell, a strong Ivy League program. Colgate battled the wind down in Ithaca to hang on to close margins against the Big Red. The closest margin of the day came for the 1v8, who trailed Cornell by just seven seconds over an almost seven-minute race. The Raiders were pleased with their performance, as they proved they could hang in with a big competitor like Cornell. 

The Raiders rallied down to Philadelphia for their first regatta of the season. Colgate launched a crew of three eights and a single v4. One highlight on the day was the 3v8 win over Georgetown in the final and the 2v8 margin on Georgetown in their second heat of the day, holding them to just over ten seconds. The Raiders struggled on the top end as both the 1v8 and 2v8 fell short of making the grand finals. 

‘Gate took a weekend off from racing before hosting the Colgate Regatta in Rome, welcoming College of the Holy Cross, Robert Morris University, University of Connecticut, Marist College and Canisius College. Colgate launched four crews, two eights and two fours. Their first varsity eight posted the fastest time in its category on the day, a big win for the Raiders as they also celebrated their senior day for eight graduating seniors. 

“Today was a great day for our program. It was senior day and these seniors have put in a lot of work over their four years so celebrating them this weekend was fantastic,” Head Coach Jessica Deitrick said.

Sophomore Chloe Sakowski reflected on this season and the progress the team has made thus far.

“We have improved so much as a team over the course of this season,” she said. “I think with each race we have, our mindset going into it improves significantly – we go in with the mindset that we are going to fight for every meter and hold nothing back. We definitely had a degree of fight early in the season, but I think we have found another level of it these past few weeks. Our team’s 2k average is also the lowest it has been in six years, which is a huge deal for the team and shows great improvement.”

Junior Genna Lamphier has been racing in the Raiders’ 1v8 this season. She discussed the team’s drive as the season has progressed.

“From the beginning of the season we knew we were going to be faster than we have been in past years, so I think that was a really good headspace to have going into the season,” Lamphier said. “With four races now under our belt we really have shown that we are going to be a competitive team within the Patriot League this year. Every week we are gaining speed and I’m really excited to see how much faster we can get over these next three weeks and then prove ourselves at Patriots.”

Colgate moves on to the Eastern Sprints on Sunday, April 30, and the team will be finishing off their season in Worcester, MA as both the sprints and subsequent Patriot League Championships take place on Lake Quinsigamond. 

The team will face a crowded field next weekend at the sprints as the 1v8+, 2v8+, and v4+ categories each have 14 entries. The field will include some of the toughest competitors in the northeast, including nationally-ranked Brown (ranked fifth), Syracuse (ranked ninth), and Harvard (ranked fifteenth). They will also be facing Patriot League rival Georgetown. 

Lamphier reflected on the team’s hunger to prove themselves in their last two races of the season.

“Eastern Sprints is always a really competitive regatta, with most of the Ivies and bigger schools like Syracuse and Northeastern. However, there are also some Patriot League schools, so it’s a good chance to race them and see their speed before heading into the Patriot League Championship,” she said. “Coming off of last year where we were extremely close with Boston College and Cornell in our final, I think we are hungry to be up there with them again and place higher than we did in 2022.”

The Raiders will be looking to improve upon their seventh-place finish at last year’s Patriot League Championship, where they finished above Holy Cross and Loyola.