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

Men’s Rowing Docks After a Successful Fall Season

Colgate Athletics

Dropping temperatures and frost on Lake Moraine signal the end of the fall season for Colgate University men’s rowing. While rowing conducts its championship season, with shorter side-by-side sprint races in the spring, the Raiders took on a competitive schedule this fall. 

Sophomore and member of the first varsity eight Charlie Jones reflected on the changes the team has undergone this fall. 

“The momentum of the team has remained strong, but there is a definite shift into further development of younger guys. My class, in particular, has shouldered some heavy responsibility this year in maintaining and gaining speed, but so far, we have been doing well.”

Sophomore Cub Scott echoed this sentiment

“The team is now very young with mostly sophomores and first-years, so it feels a little more playful. Last year it felt pretty stressful because the seniors were pushing to do really well to finish their rowing careers,” Scott said.

They began their fall competitive schedule at Head of the Charles, the world’s largest regatta. The Raiders posted the eightieth fastest time down the course, less than 18 seconds behind Tufts University, who took home the gold. They placed eighth in a field of 42 crews, guaranteeing a retry bid for next year’s race. This is the team’s second straight top-ten finish at Head of the Charles, having fallen one place since last year’s seventh-place finish. They finished ahead of the University of California San Diego and Drexel University, two crews that beat the Raiders last spring at the IRA national championships

Senior Riley Rice spoke on the team’s mentality for the season.

We walked away from the national championship unsatisfied and getting to train in Italy and then compete at the Royal Henley Regatta, the most prestigious rowing event in the world, gave the team a renewed sense of drive and cohesion,” Rice said. “After Henley, we had a large group of seniors graduate, so the team was very young coming into the fall […]. However, while the Head of the Charles wasn’t the race we had hoped for, we had shown that this young group had some speed, which we proved against the University of Pennsylvania, United States Naval Academy, Drexel and Temple University at the Head of the Schuylkill the following week and built on at the Princeton Chase.”

After shipping up to Boston the weekend prior, the Raiders set their eyes on the Schuylkill. The Raiders competed in three events: the novice collegiate fours, club championship eights and the championship eights. Their top performance of the day came in the championship eights as they finished fourth, only behind Navy, Penn and La Salle. The novice collegiate four took sixth while the club championship eight finished 29th in a field of 44

The Raiders were able to get oars in the water one last time down in Princeton, N.J., for the Princeton Chase three-mile race. The Raiders entered their largest fleet yet, racing a single, a pair, a quad and an eight. The Raiders posted a strong performance, ending their fall campaign on a high note. The varsity eight finished eighth in a field of 38, the single (sculled by senior Riley Rice in his last collegiate race) finished third out of six, the pair finished fifth out of 11 and less than a minute back from the first-place finisher over a 16-minute race. The quad finished only behind two Princeton boats racing on their home course

“Coming into this fall, we had no expectations, with only half of the starting boat returning from last year. I think we actually did very well this season and can build off our performances to have a really good spring season. We had a slower start with our Charles performance pretty similar to last year, but at the Schuylkill, we did very well and beat Drexel who we haven’t [beaten] in a very long time.” Scott said.

Rice also spoke about the team’s age and his perception of the younger team as well.

People could look at and believe it’s a weakness, but I think it’s actually a strength,” Rice said. “When you have an older group of really successful athletes leave the program, it’s hard, but it also gives new room for growth. The team has a well-rounded group of energized and dedicated people who are ready to exceed the standard set by the outgoing group.”

The Raiders entered the fall season after a summer full of competition. The Raiders ended their spring campaign at the IRA championships with finishes in 20th place in the eight and 18th in the four. After their spring season, they were awarded automatic bids to race at the prestigious Henley Regatta in England in June and July. The Raiders made the trip across the pond for the first time since 2017 and their fourth time in program history. 

Jones explained how the training the team had gone through helped its performance this season.

“The prolonged training into the summer has helped our performance this fall, especially considering some new guys in the V8 were training in the second varsity boat over IRA and Henley training,” Jones said.

The team began international competition over the summer and opened with two big wins at the Reading Town Regatta, taking first place in the eight and the four. The Raiders’ season ended for them on the Thames, as local rival and fifth place champion at the IRA’s this spring Syracuse University knocked out the Raiders’ eight in a head-to-head dual only after taking down Imperial College London. The varsity four was knocked out in their first race by G.S.R. Aegir, whose crew consisted of members of the Dutch national team. In between the IRAs and Henley, the team traveled to Sabaudia, Italy, for a training camp.

Scott discussed the promising outlook the team has for the spring season.

“Our strengths, I think, come from a pretty good mindset at the moment and from the boat rowing together well,” Scott said. “The biggest thing we will focus on this winter is developing our younger athletes and creating a strong 2v.”

Jones spoke specifically about what the team will be doing in the meantime.

“As always, however, we will be hitting the ergs, rowing machines and weights hard this winter. Our greatest edge over the teams we race, who are often much bigger and usually better at rowing than us, is our fitness,” Jones said.

While all Colgate students are familiar with the long Hamilton winters, men’s rowing has a glimmer of sunshine to help them get through it.

“The team is heading to Newport Beach, Calif., in early January for a couple of weeks of on-the-water training, which everyone is really looking forward to,” Rice said.

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About the Contributor
Caroline Michaud
Caroline Michaud, Sports Editor
Caroline Michaud is a senior from Lexington, MA concentrating in political science and religion. She has previously served as a staff writer for the Sports section. On campus, Caroline is involved in a Greek letter organization.

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