April 8, 2008
FAIRFAX, Va. - The 2008 spring racing season began with two races hosted by George Mason University on Sunday. Competing on the Occoquan was a return home for stroke Alice Ainsworth, who trained there in high school as a member of Thomas Jefferson Crew. "It was really exciting to row here again after three years, it's a great place to row and race," she remarked.
The regatta was a double-dual regatta in which each boat competed against a different opponent in the morning and afternoon. First up for the varsity eight was George Washington, followed by Bucknell. The varsity four faced Bucknell in the morning, and a second boat from Bucknell in the afternoon.
The Engineers have been focusing on a strong start, and this was evident in the morning race for the varsity eight. After 500 meters the Tech crew was ahead by six seats and rowing confidently. George Washington made a strong move at the 750-meter mark to pull ahead, and managed to hold onto that lead for the last 1000. In the end, MIT crossed the line about five seconds behind.
The afternoon race was a frustrating one for the varsity eight. After another strong start, the two boats' oars nearly clashed, and the Engineers became a little rattled from having to steer out of their lane and subsequently hitting a buoy. Bucknell pulled ahead and managed to stay there, despite a rally from MIT in the last 500.
Both races in the varsity four were learning experiences. The crew struggled to develop a strong rhythm until the last 500 in each race, and came up short against the Bison both times.
Complete results can be found at www.row2k.com.
Next weekend the crew will travel south again to race on the Potomac in the George Washington Invitational before spending the remainder of the season closer to home.