Women's rowing competes at Head of the Charles
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 21:10
The UConn rowing team had a record three boats compete in the world’s largest two-day rowing event over the weekend. Every year since 1965, over 9,000 of the world’s best rowers from the collegiate ranks to the Olympic level travel to Boston to determine whom the best rowers on Earth are at the Head of Charles Regatta.
A total of 20 UConn rowers competed in the Women’s Club Fours, Women’s Club Eights and the Women’s Championship Eights.
Led by senior Melissa Soucie, the UConn boat finished 5th out of 46 teams in the Women’s Club Four. Soucie, Natalie Carlone, Julia Roth, Caitlin Swallow and Elise McCormick overcame adversity when the 3-seat rower, Roth, clashed oars with another crew but followed the Cardinal Rule of rowing, never stop rowing. Roth and her teammates kept rowing and earned a medal with a time of 19:30.93.
“While you don’t know the results in a head race right as you crossed the finish line because it is a race against the clock, we knew we had a good piece,” Soucie said. “We felt powerful, moving together as we passed seven other crews that started ahead of us.”
The Huskies finished less than two seconds ahead of rival New England school, Boston College.
“It was the perfect end to my Head of the Charles career with UConn, we raced our heart out, passed crews throughout the entire race, and felt great about the race before knowing the results,” Soucie said.
The second race Connecticut competed in on Saturday was the Women’s Club Eights. UConn finished 24 out of 34 crews with a time of 19:05.64, just under three seconds behind Merrimack College.
“It was overwhelming. There were so many people along the shore and on the bridges,” said freshman Meg Duva after competing in her first Head of Charles. “But it was really motivating to hear “UConn” being chanted from the bridges.”
Duva’s boat hit the first split at 4:16.67, the 16th fastest in the field. Yale University set a blistering pace with 3:52.54 through the first split and clinched first overall in 16:49.64.
On Sunday, seniors Charlotte Kelley, Brittany Depoi and Hillary Wiles-LaFayette led a team of nine in the biggest race at the Charles, the Women’s Championship Eights. It is an honor to even participate in such a high-profile race and the Huskies held tough. Connecticut placed 36 out of 40 teams and beat Navy, Massachusetts and Lehigh with a time of 19:11.52.
Not surprisingly, the Olympic gold medal winning United States rowing team claimed first in just over 16 minutes. The Cambridge Boat Club would have upset the U.S. team but they were docked a 10-second penalty for a buoy violation.
Head Coach Jennifer Sanford-Wendry’s squad will wrap up the fall schedule on Oct. 27 at the Head of Fish in Saratoga, N.Y.