GW Repeats as MAISA Women's Champions
Colonials successfully defend fall conference championship
Six months after capturing the first conference championship in program history, the George Washington sailing team successfully defended its title by winning the MAISA Women's Championship on Sunday.
The Colonials, in their fourth year as a varsity program, won the MAISA Women's Fall Dinghy in October by holding off a late charge from Georgetown. This time was no different, as No. 14 GW again outpaced the No. 7 Hoyas along with No. 5 St. Mary's and the rest of the MAISA field. The win qualifies GW for nationals which will be held from May 24-27 in San Diego.
Ideal conditions with a variety of winds met the 16-team field on Saturday, when a total of 10 races in both A and B Division were completed, while just two races were completed on Sunday. GW was able to take advantage of its depth as seven sailors took to the waters over the course of the weekend.
In Division A, Miranda Bakos and Belle Strachan sailed races 1-4 and 7-11, while India Johnstone and Emma Mendenhall took races 5-6. GW had top-5 finishes in 10 of 11 races and top-3 finishes in five, while winning the final race of the competition to vault St. Mary's for third in the division.
GW dominated B Division, finishing in the top five in every race with eight top-3s and four wins, handily outpacing second-place Georgetown. Hannah McNomee skippered every race while Madison Oleson crewed 1-2 and 5-11, and Kia Olsson crewed 3-4. In third place after the first two races, GW finished first in races three and five, and second in races four and six, to grab control of the division. The Colonials would never relinquish their hold on the top spot, winning races eight and nine to build a substantial lead.
GW, which led for much of the competition, had to hold off a number of competitors. The Colonials narrowly trailed host Hobart & William Smith Colleges after race 9A, but a win by McNomee and Oleson in race 9B put GW back on top for good.
"We were able to capitalize in every condition which showed a lot of versatility," said head coach John Pearce. "We had a lot of different team members substitute in to contribute at different times, showing off our depth as usual."
In addition to the MAISA Women's Championship, GW was in competition at the Admiral's Cup, finishing ninth, and the Arrigan Memorial Regatta where the Colonials entered two teams and finished third and fourth. In the Admiral's Cup, GW had a particularly strong showing in A Division where Brendan Shanahan and Matthew Homa finished fifth in the 20-team field.
The Colonials will now turn their attention towards the MAISA coed championship, which will be held this upcoming weekend at SUNY Maritime.
"We're definitely not done yet," said Pearce. "We need to back up this weekend with another strong result next weekend."
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