April 3, 2007
CAMDEN, NJ - George Washington University women's rowing began its Eastern Sprints League competition this weekend on the road in two separate races on different courses. The defending Atlantic 10 Champion Varsity Eight crew was tested and raced hard, but was unable to pull out a victory against a fast field.
GW competed in the Playfair Cup against Navy and Boston University and finished third in the all events on Saturday morning on the Cooper River in Camden New Jersey.
The varsity race was very close for the first third of the 2000 meter course. The Midshipmen slowly gained an advantage over the field during the next 500 meters and finished the race with a commanding 20 second win over the Colonials, with a winning time of 7:15.14. GW was unable to apply its power effectively during the race, and also finished a disappointing 13 seconds behind BU.
The Playfair Cup was donated in by the family of Virginia Playfair, who holds ties to each of the three institutions involved in the race. Also racing were a varsity four and a novice eight, who finished third to Navy and BU boats as well.
Later that same day, the team traveled into Philadelphia to meet a very deep University of Pennsylvania crew. The varsity events were all very tight three boat races with the GW Varsity Four winning their race by a second after battling what was supposedly the slower Penn four. Coxed, by Gina Fernandes and stroked by Ashley McCawley, the GW boat held a quarter-length advantage most of the race course and was just able to hold off an aggressive challenging Penn crew in the last 250 meters.
Equally exciting, but with the opposite result, was the Varsity Eight race, with three boats finishing within two seconds of the winning time. All three boats battled all the way down the course, but GW could never quite close the small gap after getting down in the first two minutes. The varsity eight was able to really turn around their performance after the morning's race and made some changes to their technical focus and raced more up to their potential. It was a fast day of racing and the GW boats had made advances in one short week after their season opener, but realize how much work is still to be done.
Next up is the 20th Annual GW Invitational Regatta on April 6-7 where GW will meet A-10 rival Saint Josephs, Iowa and West Virginia, on their home course on the Potomac River. All are encouraged to come out and cheer the team from the Washington Harbour in Georgetown!
First Varsity (Playfair Cup race)
Navy, 7:15.14; Boston Univ., 7:20.67; George Washington, 7:35.73
Navy 'A', 8:28.7; Navy 'B', 8:35.92; Boston Univ. 'A', 8:39.59; Boston Univ. 'B', 8:41.43; George Washington, 8:52.45
Navy, 7:57.1; Boston Univ., 8:19.9; George Washington, 8:27.5
Penn 6:34.9 , Penn (JV) 6:35.4, George Washington 6:36.3
George Washington 7:30.5, Penn B 7:31.5, Penn A 7:37.2
Penn 6:47.1, Penn (2N) 7:03.2 , George Washington 7:09.7