April 10, 2012
This past weekend, the Georgetown Women's Crew team stayed home to race at the George Washington Invitational, facing the Naval Academy on Friday afternoon, St. Joseph's on Saturday morning and MIT on Saturday afternoon. The conditions throughout the weekend's racing were very windy, yet the course was manageable for all crews. The dual racing format proved challenging for the Hoyas as they fell to their opposition in successive races. "The challenge with these races wasn't a lack of preparation," said Head Coach Miranda Paris. "All of the margins were decided before the 1000-meter mark and it allowed those crews to defend from out in front. We learned a lot about how we respond in race scenarios like that and we're looking forward to implementing the changes we need to make to respond differently."
With this perspective in mind, the Varsity 8 steadily improved over the course of the weekend. Junior stroke Lindsey Bragg commented, "We felt good going into this weekend, but did not hit our stride off the start and tried to do too much as individuals. I am really looking forward bringing what we learned this weekend to our race next week."
The Second Varsity 8 took a particularly big step between their second and third race. Even to the thousand, MIT and Georgetown battled fiercely to gain an advantage. MIT raised their rate to try and break the Hoyas, without success. "The crew stayed internally focused and confident in their rhythm and length," said Coach Paris, "I was very proud of the determination they exhibited and what they were able to learn about racing that day."
The Varsity 4 was in a new line-up again this weekend. "We struggled most of the week to find rhythm, but in the end the boat came together, and given the short time they had to make something happen, the girls did a great job," said Assistant Coach Steve Full. Aside from a pair of wins from the Varsity 4B against Navy and MIT, the Second Varsity's win over MIT was the only other victory that the Hoya women produced from the weekend. "We have to keep things in perspective. The B4 had some of their best strokes of the year in their races, and so long as we can keep the `bottom-up pressure,' we will continue to grow and develop as a team," said Coach Full.
The Hoya's new coaching staff has seen a dramatic change in the team this year. "The thing I am most proud of is our team and their commitment as a whole to raising the bar," commented Coach Paris. "Everything this year has been new and our athletes could have easily resisted the changes. Instead, they have been open-minded and committed to learning. The change in attitude and subsequent dedication to the work has changed the culture and will be the defining factor as we move forward. Even after a tough day of racing, our next step is very clear: we must stay committed the process."
Luckily, the Hoyas will have a chance at redemption against the Midshipmen this coming weekend. Follow their results live on Twitter @HoyaRowing.