GW crews finish fall season, prepare for spring

The GW crew program wrapped up its fall competitive season last Sunday, when the novice boats hit the water at Princeton University at the Belly of the Carnegie.

Only the novice boats (made up of freshmen and first-year rowers) competed at the event. The men fielded two boats, and the women entered three. The men finished 19th and 22nd out of 25 boats. The

women finished 23rd, 29th and 33rd out of 33 boats.

The varsity men and women finished their season Oct. 25 at the Princeton Chase. The men’s varsity eight finished 19th out of 29 boats. The women fielded three eights, including two heavyweights and one lightweight. The heavyweight A-boat finished 14th, and the B-boat finished 37th out of the 44 boats. The lightweight eight finished sixth out of the eight boats in its race.

This week, the crews will practice on the Potomac River for the last time until the spring. As they continue to prepare for the more important spring season (which will only include short, head-to-head races against other college crews), the teams will retire to the erg room for the winter. The teams will train in Tampa, Fla., Jan. 2 through 9.

First-year men’s varsity head coach Erich Shuler said he’s trying to bring hard work and improvement to the team.

“They have most definitely improved,” Shuler said. “From what they tell me, they’re fitter than they’ve ever been.”

Shuler said he has stressed a level of conditioning to which the men may not have been accustomed.

“I’m happy because I think the men have really bought into the idea,” said Steve Peterson, third-year women’s varsity head coach.

Shuler said the last race for the men’s varsity gave him some satisfaction, but left him with a desire to do better.

“At Princeton, we had great preparation, and a good race, both in effort and in technical skill,” Shuler said. “But we would have liked to have finished higher.”

Peterson said he also was fairly satisfied with the results his women’s varsity turned in at the final fall race.

“For the Chase, I was pretty happy,” Peterson said. “Obviously, the big thing was beating Georgetown. It was a nice turnaround from the Head of the Charles (Oct. 17 in Boston).”

Now the teams look to build on the momentum from Princeton, as both the novice and varsity teams move on to winter training.

“The fall season’s done. Basically, now we’re going to go to Tampa, have some fun, train and get ready for the spring,” Peterson said. “At Tampa, it’s just eat-sleep-row, eat-sleep-row, eat-sleep-row.”

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