Crew shows well in season-opening regatta

Despite graduating 12 rowers, women find success in Head of the Housatonic race

Staff Writer
Friday, October 14, 2016

Both the men’s and top-ranked women’s crew teams opened their fall seasons with impressive performances at the Head of the Housatonic Saturday — Bruno won the collegiate women’s eight and placed second in the collegiate men’s eight.

The women’s team continued its dominance at the Head of the Housatonic, winning the race for the third straight year. The three-time defending Ivy League champions bested their only Ancient Eight competitors in the race: Yale, which finished second.

“I thought it was a pretty good start,” said captain Alia Shafi ’17. “But we obviously have a lot of work left to do before the spring season.”

Brown’s first boat outpaced the 33-boat field, finishing the 2.7-mile course in 13:54.6, a full nine seconds ahead of Yale’s top entry. Brown’s second and third entries finished eighth and ninth by sneaking across the finish line just ahead of Massachusetts’ top entry, while Brown’s fourth entry placed 13th.

After a season in which the women defended their Ivy League team points trophy while finishing sixth in the NCAA Championships, the team can hold high expectations for the upcoming season despite an influx of rookie rowers.

“We graduated 12 seniors last year, but I think we are still setting our goals high,” Shafi said. “But there are definitely a lot of fast teams out there this year.”

The men enjoyed a similarly strong performance Saturday, with the Bears’ top entry finishing in 12:33.2, a speedy enough performance to edge out Harvard’s B and A boats, which finished the course in 12:34.5 and 12:35.3, respectively. The boat’s time was good enough for second place, but Yale’s top entry grabbed first, finishing a full 15 seconds ahead.

“We were expecting for Yale and Harvard to be fast,” said coxswain Benson Stevens ’18. “While we have some work to do to catch up to Yale, it was good to be ahead of Harvard and to be in the mix in general for the first race of the season.”

The Head of the Housatonic allowed Brown to demonstrate its depth, as it placed five boats in the race. Bruno’s B and C boats finished seventh and ninth, respectively, while the D and E boats placed 15th and 22nd, respectively, out of the 25 total entries.

“A few of our other boats were able to beat their respective crew from Harvard and Yale last weekend, which is something we are proud of as a team,” said captain Finn Meeks ’17. “Last week was a starting point. We all know that our job is to keep pushing each other to get faster in practice and get ready to put our bows in front at the Charles.”

Brown competes next at the 52nd Head of the Charles Regatta Oct. 22 and 23.

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