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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crew teams prepare to host regatta

In an annual rite of spring, men’s and women’s rowers from a dozen different schools around the country will descend on D.C. to take part in the 23rd George Washington Invitational Regatta this weekend.

The event, which will take place on the Potomac River, is the first of two home races for GW’s women’s team, and the only home race for the school’s men’s team this spring. The women’s team recently placed 11th at the Murphy Cup in Philadelphia, Pa., and the men’s team won the McCausland Cup – also in Philadelphia – back in March.

“The team has been extremely focused all week,” said senior Dominic Abruzzese, captain of the men’s team. “Every athlete knows this is an important weekend and a good gauge of our speed at this point in the spring, so we’ve been putting in extra practices to prepare for the stiff competition that this weekend is sure to bring.”

At the regatta last year, GW – both men’s and women’s scores combined – finished sixth out of the 12 schools that attended. The U.S. Naval Academy, with 230 points, easily took first place. The next schools that placed were Columbia and Cornell, who had 122 and 117 points, respectively.

Yet women’s head coach Eric Carcich says last year means almost nothing.

“I have not even looked at the results from last year to be honest,” the first-year coach said. “We are a very different team both on and off the water this year and we are simply trying to see just how fast we can go every practice and every race. We have come very far since the fall when I arrived here at GW, but we still have much speed to be gained.”

The five schools that placed ahead of GW at the regatta last year – Navy, Cornell, Columbia, Georgetown, and St. Joseph’s – will all be back this year, so redemption is possible.

“Last year we lost a couple of excruciatingly close races,” Abruzzese said. “I suspect the racing this year will be just as tight but we’ve been going out for extra rows to ensure that we don’t let that happen again and hopefully finish first in the overall points.”

The men’s team is currently ranked 14th in the men’s varsity eight rankings, the highest first-week position in school history. Cornell is the only school ranked above GW that will be at this weekend’s regatta.

Though GW’s teams will enjoy the luxury of a home race and rowing on the familiar Potomac River, they will be approaching it as if it were any other race.

“The coxswains know the course well and the team doesn’t have to deal with the exhaustion that comes with long drives or a change in time zones, so to that extent it is nice to be on the Potomac,” Abruzzese said. “But it’s just like any other race. And if you aren’t disciplined, having so many friends and family members around could even be distracting.”

“It is nice having this race in our backyard since it adds a little excitement to the day,” Carcich said. “But in general it is all the same whether you are a home or visiting team.”

The first race is scheduled for 1:30 Friday and the event will continue Saturday, beginning at 8 a.m.

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