May 6, 2013
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University women's lightweight and openweight rowing teams competed at the Eastern Sprints this weekend, bringing home a bronze medal in the lightweight eight final and the finishing eighth overall in the field of 12 openweight teams.
The women's lightweight eight finished third in the grand final on Sunday, crossing the line ahead of 2012 National Champion Wisconsin and behind winner Radcliffe and Princeton in a time of 7:29.2. The Hoyas improved on a 23-second gap behind Radcliffe earlier this season with an 11-second deficit on Sunday, while also closing their margin on Princeton from earlier in the spring. Prior to Sunday the lightweights last medaled at Eastern Sprints in 2009.
"Today's race has been the highlight of my rowing career here at Georgetown," said Senior captain Kayla McNeil. "We were committed to digging in and pushing into the pain the whole way through. We really took charge of the middle 1000m. I am so proud of my crew and am excited to see what we can accomplish in the next three weeks. We wouldn't have been able to accomplish what we did today without the rest of Hoyas!"
"Having learned over the course of the season, the girls were determined to approach today's race with fire and intensity from the first stroke," commented lightweight assistant coach Alex Kuschner "They did exactly that. The eight fought hard from the start, were aggressive in the middle thousand, and refused to let the competition distract them. The results showed their focus and hard work, both physically and mentally. We were all pleased with how they executed their plan and I couldn't be more proud of their performance."
Georgetown's lightweight varsity four finished fourth of six in a hotly contested final. Coming into the 1,000-meter mark the crew sat in sixth, but an excellent call from freshman novice coxswain Iliana Lang got the boat fired up as they managed to work their way back to fourth place, ahead of Boston and Princeton's B entry in a time of 8:55.5.
After feeling like they underperformed in the morning heats, the Georgetown women's openweight varsity eight came out in the afternoon with a dominating performance in the varsity eight petite final. Seeded 11th coming into Eastern Sprints, the crew finished ahead of expectations by winning the petite final by open water over Holy Cross, Boston College, UMass, Rutgers and MIT to finish 7th in a time of 7:26.8.
The openweight second varsity eight also over-performed, finishing second in the petite final behind Buffalo in a time of 7:53.9. The crew was seeded 9th coming into competition and came away finishing 8th in their event.
Georgetown's openweight varsity four raced in the petite final of their event, crossing the line ahead of MIT in 9:00.6. Assistant coach Stephen Full was happy on the progress the boat has made throughout the season.
"With three novice rowers in our four, we have a lot to learn," said Full. "In the morning we had a great start and a great first 1000m. But we really needed to find a way to overcome the mental burden and committing to the line when our bodies are in pain. The crew was responsive to pushing themselves to be faster through each 250 today and it was a good step for our boat."
"The biggest challenge we face on our team as they develop is their ability to believe in what they can do," said head coach Miranda Paris looking back on the team's performance. "These athletes have put in an incredible amount of work to change their team. Today was an incredible day for both the openweights and the lightweights as they saw their hard work pay off. We are excited to see what we can do in the next few weeks."
The openweight squad races next at the Big East Championships in West Windsor, NJ on May 19. The lightweights race at the IRA at Lake Natoma, CA on May 30-June 2.