GW rows second to UMass

For the sixth-straight year the GW women’s crew team placed second behind Massachusetts in the Atlantic 10 Rowing Championship Saturday on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J. The competitive Colonials won the gold in the women’s varsity eight event, and GW women’s head coach Steve Peterson was named the A-10 Coach of the Year for the second year in a row.

The GW women captured the gold medal in the varsity eight with a time of 7:02.60. UMass, which won the event last year, crossed the line in second with a time of 7:08.23. Rhode Island came in third and Temple placed fourth. The Colonials also won both the novice eight-A and the novice eight-B events. In the past two A-10 Championships, GW’s women’s novice team has won a gold medal in all five races they entered.

“The varsity’s win is really a relief,” Peterson said. “We have come into this championship the past few year’s expecting to be able to knock off UMass, but we haven’t done it. To finally beat them here at the A-10 Championship is fantastic.”

UMass won the overall title with a total team score of 47 points. GW followed with a score of 35 points, and St. Joseph’s finished third. UMass won three events including the quad (7:48.90), lightweight four (8:32.90) and second varsity eight (7:02.87).

Next week GW travels to Princeton, N.J., to race No. 3 Princeton University and Georgetown.

Things were a little stranger for the GW men’s crew, which won its first-ever gold medal in the varsity eight event at the A-10 Championships despite being involved in a pre-race collision with Rhode Island.

As a result of the collision, one oarsman was injured and the bow was ripped off the boat. Men’s varsity coach Gene Kininmonth said the collision was a direct result of poor regatta management.

“It was the oddest thing,” Kininmonth said. “The women’s races finished and all the starting officials simply packed up to go home. Who did they think was going to start our races, the fish?”

Senior coxswain Pat McLaughlin said the conditions on the course were terrible.

“Imagine yourself driving along the road and suddenly without warning someone pulls out from the curb on your right and does a U-turn right in front of you,” McLaughlin said. “That’s what we were faced with.”

After the collision the crew returned to the dock and borrowed the men’s novice boat for its final.

“It is a smaller boat and felt a lot different to ours,” senior captain Brendan Gilbert said. “But we got the job done and won our first A-10 Championship and for that I am content.”

Next Sunday GW and Georgetown will face off in “The Duel” to determine the fastest crew on the Potomac River.

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