Colonial crews ready for opener

The well-prepared Colonial crew is about to begin its 2000 spring season. The crew teams have been training since August and will face their first competition beginning Saturday, when the men’s team travels to the Rochester Institute of Technology and the women’s team heads to Cornell University.

The women’s team, led by Megan Doyle, Deb Friedman and Sara McClellan, have high expectations this season and will look to qualify for the NCAAs in May. The tough schedule for head coach Steve Peterson and his women’s team includes the U.S. Naval Academy, Boston University, Princeton University, the University of Virginia and Georgetown University. Peterson’s team will also travel to New Preston, Conn., in May to compete at the women’s Eastern Sprints.

The men’s crew team is under the leadership of first-year head coach Gene Kininmonth. The team captains are Justin Hutchinson and Jay Anklowitz. Kininmonth’s young team will face opponents including Massachusetts, Colby College and Wesleyan University. GW also competes against Georgetown May 7 and will try to avenge last season’s 10-second loss to the Hoyas in the D.C.-area championships.

The Colonial crews will host the GW Invitational Crew Classic on the Potomac April 15, and both teams will then head to Camden, N.J., the following weekend for the Atlantic 10 Championships.

Colonial crew begins early for practices at 6 a.m., with scheduled workouts also held during afternoons and weekends. The teams did not take off for spring break this season as they practiced two to three times daily in preparation for the upcoming races.

GW crew has practiced consistently on the Potomac dating back to 1956, when the Colonial men’s team originated as a college crew club that competed against local high school crews. The women’s team began in 1973. GW has graduated Michelle Knox-Zaloom (’86), a member of the 1992 and ’96 Olympic rowing teams and more recently Linda Miller (’94) and Aquil Abdullah (’95), members of the last three U.S. national teams.

-Zach Leibowitz contributed to this report

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