Men’s and Women’s Crew: Women succeed at Charles River Challenge; men lose Arlett Cup

By Jewel Della Valle

The men’s and women’s crew teams took on a variety of opponents this weekend and came out with mixed results. The women’s team participated in the Charles River Challenge, going 4-1 and losing only to Southern California, the nation’s top-ranked women’s crew team.

The men’s team officially kicked off its season and took on Boston University for the 30th annual Arlett Cup. NU relinquished its six-year run as the cup’s winners, falling to BU by just under 13 seconds.

The women’s varsity never surrendered the lead in Saturday morning’s race against Texas, Columbia and UMass-Amherst, plowing through choppy water and headwind, and crossing the finish line at 7:53.2. Texas followed six seconds later, UMass-Amherst behind them and Columbia in last place at 8:36.4. Northeastern’s second varsity also placed first in a down-to-the-wire battle with Texas, beating the Longhorns by 1.5 seconds, but fell to them in the varsity four and novice races.

Head coach Joe Wilhelm said he doesn’t feel Saturday morning’s conditions had anything to do with the outcome of the race.

“One of the things that I was very pleased with this weekend was how all of our crews really were consistent from one race to the next,” he said. “As the conditions changed we were able to change with them and handle sort of whatever nature threw at us.”

Saturday afternoon Northeastern rowed against Syracuse and took first again, finishing with a time of 7:05.0, 8.5 seconds in the lead. The second varsity took first again, this time by a margin of 1.8 seconds. The varsity four and novice boats were again downed by their opponents for second place, though just a 0.6 mark separated the two varsity four boats.

On Sunday morning the Husky varsity eight was finally overmatched, falling to USC by 9.7 seconds with a time of 6:46.8. USC also took out the Huskies in the second varsity and varsity four races. In the novice race, Northeastern came in third to Radcliffe and Columbia with a time of 7:25.4, and in the novice four the Huskies fell to Dartmouth and Syracuse, finishing at 8:50.9.

Though Northeastern raced three times in 24 hours, Wilhelm said he doesn’t think that was responsible for the lack of first-place finishes.

“I really feel like the conditioning we’ve done this year really paid off,” he said. “[The varsity eight were] fortunate because they were able to conserve a little bit of energy on Saturday. I don’t really feel like they had to extend themselves on Saturday morning or Saturday afternoon to win those races, so they had a little bit of gas left in the tank for Sunday morning.”

In Saturday morning’s men’s race, the Huskies got off to a fine start and were up by four seats on the BU crew at the halfway mark of the race (1,000 meters). But the Terriers were not to be beaten so quickly and pulled even at 1,500 meters.

With just 200 meters left, BU had pulled ahead by three seats and the Huskies “caught a crab,” (mishandled an oar), dashing their chances of catching up for the win. Northeastern finished at 6:56.1, 12.7 seconds behind the Terriers. The second varsity and freshman won their respective races against BU.

The men travel to the Seekonk River in Rhode Island to take on Brown for the Dreissigacker Cup Saturday. The women, now 7-2, will take on Radcliffe, Boston College and MIT in the Rowlands Cup April 18 on the Charles River.

Leave a Reply