Women’s crew team makes a splash in California

Sports Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Correction appended.

Brown athletics are rarely mentioned in the same sentence with powerhouses like Ohio State University or the University of Texas. But with the sixth-ranked women’s crew team in the country — four spots ahead of the Buckeyes and 12 spots ahead of the Longhorns — the Bears are proving that, while other programs may dominate on land, Bruno reigns supreme on the water.

The squad traveled to Sacramento, Calif. over the weekend for the Lake Natoma Invitational, where they finished third overall, behind No. 5 Stanford University and host school, No. 4 University of California at Berkeley.

The Bears raced early in the morning and dominated on the first day of the two-day competition. The Bears’ opening events guaranteed them a finish of third place or higher by solidifying their position in the A Group final for all three major races — the varsity four, second varsity eight and varsity eight.

In the first race of the second day, the varsity four earned third place, finishing in 7 minutes, 28.31 seconds. In a closely contested match, Bruno’s second varsity eight finished with a time of 6:37.34, less than three seconds behind the Golden Bears. In the varsity eight finale, the three top-10 schools were pitted against each other. They each put forth an impressive performance to finish in under 6:30, with Stanford clinching the victory at 6:21.40 and Brown trailing second-place Cal by three seconds. The Bears finished third with a time of 6:29.14.

Despite the squad’s placement, the Bears had their sights set on an even higher finish.

“It was pretty obvious to everybody that we didn’t do as well as we had hoped to do against our competitors,” said Hope Richardson ’11. “But these are some of the best crews in the country, especially Cal and Stanford, who historically have been some of our biggest rivals at the NCAA Championships, so it’s nice to know how we match up against them at this point in the season.”

Richardson also said the cross-country journey — which occurred over Spring Weekend — was beneficial for the team, as it provided a different racing format than they are accustomed to.

“It was a pretty good format for us on the West Coast, where they do a lot of different races on Saturday and then finals on Sunday,” Richardson said. “On the East Coast and particularly in the Ivy League, we do a lot of dual racing, where we have one other team that we are racing, each boat races once, and that will be the end of the day. This bigger-scale racing is what our finals are like, so that was a big thing for us to get experience racing more than once in a day and more than one day in a row.”

After their trip across the country, the Bears will host four races this weekend on their home course. Bruno will face Boston University and the University of Rhode Island Friday before taking on Ivy League rivals Columbia and No. 13 Cornell the following day.

The men’s crew team was also in action last weekend, hosting Northeastern University in the squad’s final home meet of the season. With a three-length victory, the varsity eight earned their sixth-straight Dreissigacker Cup. The junior varsity squad also earned a win after pulling away from the Huskies in the final 600 meters, but the freshman crew fell behind and lost by three seconds. The men return to action Saturday as they travel to Dartmouth for an Ivy League showdown of their own.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the time by which the men’s freshman boat lost its race. The Herald regrets the error.


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