The GW men’s and women’s crew teams were favorites to win their respective Championship Eight races at Saturday’s Head of the Occoquan in Lorton, Va., but both teams had to settle for second-place finishes. The Colonial women finished less than 20 seconds behind winner U.S. Military Academy while the Pennsylvania Athletic Club ousted the men.
The Colonial men fell to a Penn AC crew filled with national team rowers, GW Director of Rowing and women’s varsity coach Steve Peterson said in an email. Peterson also said the women could not find their rhythm after there was some confusion at the start of the race.
“For the varsity crews, the silver medals will be reminders that there are no guaranteed wins,” he said.
The varsity women were not the only Colonials to find themselves just behind a Military Academy boat, as both the men’s and women’s novice teams also finished second behind Military Academy in their first collegiate races. But Peterson said second place is a positive start for the younger rowers.
“Most have never rowed before coming to GW,” he said. “So with only a month or two under their belt, taking second is a big achievement and one they should be very proud of.”
GW rowers also competed in the men’s and women’s club eight and placed fourth in both races. More than 50 college and club crews competed in the regatta, which Peterson said was one of the largest in the region this fall.