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Rowing takes on Ivy League and A-10 teams at Saint Joseph’s Invitational

Several boats including the varsity eight finished first against eight teams.
Florence Shen | Assistant Photo Editor
The women’s rowing team cuts through the Potomac River during a practice this semester.

Rowing competed against Atlantic 10 competitors Massachusetts and Rhode Island at the Saint Joseph’s Invitational with several boats finishing first amid strong winds of Leonia, New Jersey, on Saturday. 

In addition to the two A-10 squads, the Revolutionaries varsity eight beat Marist and UConn en route to their victory. The Revs look to continue their championship streak after winning their first conference championship last season and taking home gold at the annual George’s Cup on March 24 against George Mason and Georgetown in their spring season opener.

“The season is off to a great start. I think we set a lot of good foundational, technical and fitness improvements in the fall and now we’re ready to continue to execute that in the spring season,” Head Coach Paul Allbright said. 

In the first heat of the regatta, the varsity eight finished first out of nine boats, with a final time of 7:33.34 minutes. During their heat, the team competed against Rhode Island and UMass and secured gold with a three-second margin overall over Columbia. The varsity eight boat also placed first in the second heat against Marist and UConn with a time of 7:50.37 minutes. 

Sophomores Anna Golbus, Kendall Dorn and Brianne Wieczorek; juniors Mary Grace Konopka and Eliza Price; senior Flannery Dunn; and graduate students Ezi Emenike and Alexa Nealy manned the boat and junior Caroline Crutsinger-Perry coxed the boat. 

“Getting to race A-10 teams and seeing where you stack up with the people you’re going to race later on for a championship is very exciting and nerve-wracking,” Konopka said. “But also very much to look forward to because then you get a real check for your speed.”

The second varsity eight boat finished last against Rhode Island and UMass in their heat with a final time of 8:33.93 minutes. In a second wave, the boat beat their original heat time by 16 seconds, securing an end time of 8:18.53 minutes against Marist and UConn. The Revolutionaries earned sixth out of the nine competing boats. Freshman Young Park coxed the boat, featuring freshman Kelly Cleary; sophomores Lily Sarnowski and Bianca Rose; juniors Chambers Miller, Katana Yu and Grace McCann; and seniors Celeste Noraian and Yasmeen Darcazallie. 

“Giving ourselves even more confidence that we’re able to handle whatever conditions are given to us at the end of the season, that’s something to look forward to,” Park said. “I’m also excited to see how we stack up against other A-10 teams.”

The varsity four boat competed against Rhode Island and UMass in the first heat, finishing second with a time of 9:03.55 minutes, and placed second in the second heat against Marist and UConn with a time of 8:59.38 minutes. 

“There’s a possibility of not beating [A-10 teams], or it’s a very close race, a lot closer than we thought it would be, where people begin to question everything that they’re putting in so far,” Konopka said. “You almost start to rethink and doubt yourself a little bit because you’re like, ‘Oh, we were supposed to be winning or like we’ve beat them before.’” 

The third varsity eight boat placed last against Columbia, Bucknell and Navy during their first heat, finishing with a final time of 9:08.31 minutes, 15 seconds slower than third place Navy. The boat later earned third in a later heat with a time of 8:18.96 minutes when racing against Buckell, Rhode Island and UConn, cutting almost 45 seconds off their previous time. 

The second varsity four boat placed last in both the first and last heat against Rhode Island and Columbia and against Columbia and Navy, respectively. The Revs finished with a final time of 10:10.70 minutes and 9:50.00, respectively. Sophomores Annika Salwiczek, Tess Romine, Addisen Westphalen and Lia Nicodemo manned the boat, coxed by senior Emma Reese. 

The Revs will be hosting their first home invitational since the 2018-19 season next weekend and the team is looking forward to family, friends and supporters bringing the energy to this invite, Park said. The team has not competed on the Potomac River since October 2022, with regattas this season taking place in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia.

Park said she is excited to have local support with friends and family planning to watch her row at the meet. 

“I feel like people don’t see what we do all too often, so I’m excited to have other people see what we do,” Konopka said. “My friends can’t wait to see me race because they never get to do that and I also just think there’s something so nice about racing on water that you’re used to every single day.” 

Rowing will host the GW Invite this Friday and Saturday on the Potomac River for the first time since April 2019.

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