Defeating Trinity by a five-second margin in the varsity 8 race Sat., April 28 in Middletown, the Cardinals ended a nine-year losing skid to the Bantams dating back to the 2002 season. A year ago, Trinity knocked off Wesleyan by a 20-second interval.
"It was a tight race the whole way down the course and the varsity crew did a nice job of keeping themselves right in it," said head coach Pat Tynan. "We did a lot of work last week finding our optimal pace and it was good to see us bring that work to race day. We hadn't won this race since 2002 and it's obviously a great win for the program." The varsity eight was composed of Avery Mushinski '15, Lucy Finn '14, Kayla Cloud '14, Clare Doyle '14, Greer Dent '12 (team captain, photo insert lower right), Margo Tercek '13, Robin Cotter '13, Emily Sinkler '14, and cox Ari Rudess '15, who did a fabulous job of navigating the course. Wesleyan trailed by a short distance through the opening 1500m but took the turn at the bridge perfectly to more than make up the stagger from the start. From that point, the Cardinals led and held off Trinity in the final sprint. Dent went on to find a spot on the all-NESCAC second team May 17 following a vote of the conference coaches and gain ECAC-NIRC all-star status and second-team All-America recognition from the College Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) as well. Dent was also one of nine Cardinals named national scholar athletes by the CRCA as she was joined by Robin Cotter '13, Aly Galef '13, Emilie George '13, Yara Kass-Gergi '12, Erin Kelly, 12, Hannah Korevaar '14, Zoe Mueller '13 and Margo Tercek '13 on the list.
The second varsity eight fell by a narrow 2.8 seconds in another tight finish. "This crew has done a fantastic job adjusting to changing lineups that brings a certain level of uncertainty to race day," said Coah Tynan. Getting Erin Kelly '12 and Megan Nash '14 back in the boat and training again with the team after some injury has been really good for the crew. We put up a great fight in this race but have some technical things to iron out this week. Some consistency in this line up will go a long way to gel this crew."
The day's closest race was the third varsity 8, which also went to the Bantams by just under a second. "This crew did a great job of staying tough and put together one of their best sprints of the season. Emilie George '13 has been a real leader for this young crew," added Coach Tynan.
Wesleyan, which is ranked eighth nationally, was back in action at the annual New England Regatta in Worcester, Mass. Sat., May 5. There the Cardinal varsity 8 finished third in its heat of six boats behind Williams and Trinity, before slipping to fifth in the petite final to place 11th overall. Wesleyan trailed Trinity by six seconds at the finish line in the heat while Williams, the five-time defending NCAA Champion, ran away with the heat by 16 seconds and took the New England title by 10 seconds over Bates in the grand final.
In the final action of the year, the squad revisited Worcester, Mass. Fri., May 11 for the ECAC Collegiate Championships. The varsity 8 came in ninth among 19 entries and fifth among the eight NESCAC colleges in attendance as the event also acts as the NESCAC championship. Williams took the title, followed by Bates and Trinity. The Cardinals were ninth of 14 in the second varsity 8 race and sixth of nine in the third varsity 8 event.