The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Women’s Rowing Makes Waves

Olivia Hokanson

The Colgate University women’s rowing team opened its fall campaign with a splash in Boston at Head of the Charles, which is one of the largest and most competitive regattas in the world. The Raiders walked away with a 23rd-place finish, hungry to get back on the water.

The team is under new leadership, as Head Coach Jim Lister was hired this summer. Genna Lamphier, a senior who was part of the racing boat on Saturday, commented that the team has adjusted well to the new coaching. She said that there was going to be a culture shift on the team, not only due to the new coach but also because of the large first-year class and the number of juniors studying abroad. 

“Although there has been a lot of adversity thrown at us this fall, we have done a good job of maintaining what this team has always been,” Lamphier said.

Lister joins the Raiders from just up the road after serving as the head coach of women’s rowing at Hamilton College since 2019. He was named the NCAA Division III Coach of the Year in 2021 after leading the Continentals to a second-place finish at the Division III Championship. Prior to his time in Clinton, Lister spent six years as an assistant coach with fellow upstate rivals, Syracuse University. He has also spent time on the coaching staff at other competitive programs such as Duke University, Cornell University and Wellesley College

To prepare for the Head of the Charles, one of the largest races nationwide, the team worked on technique and chemistry within the 1v8 boat. The preparation started during summer training and continued under the transition to new coaching. The focus on technique during training translated to the race, though the athletes were not fully prepared for the lengthy 4.8k course, according to senior and two-time captain Audra Fitzgerald. 

The important thing is that the team’s technique didn’t falter.

“Being able to have this kind of foundational success early on is a great sign as we will continue to build speed,” Fitzgerald said. 

Junior Meredith Francis, who also raced this past Saturday, noted that the team’s weakness is also its biggest strength: its size. 

“Where our strength can come is our size and the ability to have so many amazing athletes. Because we have so many women on our team, sometimes the internal competition gets tough,” Francis said.

Rowing is a sport in which athletes are consistently fighting to be in the top boat, and the team frequently seat races against one another out on Lake Moraine, pushing each other to be faster.

Looking ahead to the last of two fall contests, the team hopes to put up strong finishes at the Head of the Fish and the Autumn Classic. The competition consists of highly ranked teams, including Syracuse, one of the top women’s rowing programs in the nation.

“I’m excited to see how we stack up against teams we will see,” Fitzgerald said. “Knowing where we stand with them in the fall is a really helpful marker and guides us in our winter training.”

Lamphier is looking forward to the upcoming races and the potential that the team carries early on in the season.

“I’m hoping we are just able to go into it having fun and excited to see what we can prove to ourselves,” Lamphier said.

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