Before it traveled to Collingswood, N.J. for the Atlantic 10 Championships, the GW women’s crew team hoped to surprise league-power and fifth-ranked Massachusetts and win the title, Coach Steve Peterson said.
“(UMass) had a couple of rough meets going in, and we were hoping to surprise them. We were up against a giant and in this case, David didn’t kill Goliath,” he said after GW placed second to UMass in Saturday’s meet.
The Minutewomen won the meet with a total sore of 54, while the Colonial women finished with a score of 46. Temple and Fordham were third and fourth, both with a score of 16.
GW won two of the nine events, the lightweight four and the novice four, and finished second in the other seven races.
“We finished second in almost everything. Our problem was that the boat that finished in front of us in almost every race was UMass,” Peterson said.
The varsity eight boat ended its race 12 seconds after the Minutewomen, a bigger margin than the team expected, Peterson said.
“We rowed well, but not as cleanly. I attribute that to the experience factor,” he said of a UMass team that has rowed in international competitions and has a rowing machine world record holder in its varsity eight boat.
The Colonial women’s second varsity eight boat came in second behind UMass’ winning time of 6:43.7. GW finished with a time of 7:02.7. The lightweight eight boat also finished second, eight seconds behind the Minutewomen.
UMass has poured a lot of money into its crew program in order to comply with Title IX, which mandates that schools must provide equal opportunities to female athletes.
“They have 20 crew scholarships and they are able to recruit international athletes, so the playing field really isn’t equal,” Peterson said.
GW is ranked second in the Mid-Atlantic Region and is near being ranked in the nation’s top 10, according to Peterson. Princeton University is ranked first in the region, Georgetown University is third and Rutgers University is fourth.
GW will race against Georgetown and the Lady Tigers next weekend at Princeton, a meet that likely will determine which schools will be in the top three in the region and which will make the NCAA Tournament.