GU wins Crew Classic; Colonials place fourth

Cross-town rival Georgetown soundly defeated GW’s men’s and women’s crew teams and every other crew team at the GW Invitational Crew Classic on the Potomac River Saturday afternoon. The Hoya men won the Gilbert H. Hood Jr. Trophy for compiling 73 team points, two points more than second-place United States Naval Academy. GW’s men finished fourth overall with 25 total points.

For the sixth consecutive year, the University of Virginia won the Howard Wilkins Bowl Trophy, which is awarded to the fastest women’s varsity eight.

Virginia’s women’s crew team, which is ranked eighth in the nation, finished in 5:47.40. Columbia University finished in second place (5:48.09). Navy took third with a time of 5:55.19, while the GW women placed fourth with a 6:10.04.

The GW women’s varsity eight experienced equipment problems with its boat minutes before its race. Coxswain Liz Bissinger said she thinks the problems might have affected her crew’s performance.

“I think we could’ve done better,” Bissinger said. “I think we got thrown off by our problems at the start and that really affected our race.”

Temple won the men’s varsity eight final for the second consecutive year. The Owls completed the 2000-meter course in 5:11.00, about 30 seconds faster than its winning time last year. Georgetown finished in second (5:11.96), Navy finished third (5:16.99) and Virginia took fourth (5:30.06).

GW’s men’s varsity eight did not qualify for the finals because they were not one of the top-four finishers. Men’s coach Gene Kininmonth said he thinks GW would have been in the finals if they had not been in such a fast heat.

“We had a really disappointing row in our heat,” said Kininmonth. “The competition was really tough. It was probably a little tougher than we thought.”

The men’s crew entered the competition undefeated after winning the April 8 Occoquan Sprints Regatta. Kininmonth had said this would be a tough challenge for the team, which had coasted until now.

GW’s women’s novice eight placed third in the final with a time of 6:05.16. Virginia won the women’s novice eight final (5:58.28) and Columbia placed second (6:04.2). In the second novice eight final, GW placed second (6:24.39), just behind Columbia (6:23.3). Novice coach Angie Hart said she was proud of her crews, which fared well against the tough competition.

“Overall I’m pleased,” said Hart. “They rowed powerful and clean. They’ve really tapped into their potential.”

The GW novice men’s eight placed second in their qualifying heat behind Virginia but failed to make the finals.

The event, which is the official regatta of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, is the largest collegiate rowing championship held in the District. More than 400 rowers from 14 universities competed.

Other participating universities included George Mason, LaSalle, St. Joseph’s, the College of William & Mary, Columbia University, Massachusetts and the University of New Hampshire.

Next up for the Colonials is the Atlantic 10 Rowing Championships Saturday April 28 in Camden, N.J.

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