GW Women's Rowing Opens Spring Season on Saturday
Colonials Travel to Philadelphia to Race Penn & Saint Joseph's
March 21, 2014
The Varsity 8 race will launch at 12:00 p.m. followed by the JV8 (12:15 p.m.), Varsity 4 (12:30 p.m.) and 3V8 (12:45 p.m.).
"We want to go up to Philadelphia this weekend and take a good step forward from spring break," said Head Coach Eric Carcich. "I'm excited to go and line up against other crews and see if we can take the work we put in over winter and translate it to race scenarios."
After flying under the radar the past two seasons, head coach Eric Carcich can feel the target on the backs of the George Washington women's rowing team headed into the 2014 spring season.
The Colonials won the Varsity 8 Gold Medal at the 2013 Atlantic 10 Championship and picked up victories in the Class of 1998 Cup and George's Trophy for the second consecutive season.
"We can feel the pressure after performing well the past few seasons but it makes it that much more exciting as we head into the 2014 spring schedule," said Coach Carcich. "It means that every race our competition will want to put forth their best race against us and that will motivate us this season."
After a long and cold winter in Washington, D.C., the Colonials are slightly behind their normal work schedule.
"The offseason has been extended for every team on the east coast and it has been one of the wildest winters I have ever dealt with here in Washington as far as the length of it," explained Coach Carcich. "We had our first strokes down on spring break on the Occoquan on March 8, which for us is two-to-three weeks later than normal. And we have been lucky in that regard. Up north they are dealing with bad conditions and some crews still aren't out on the water. So this winter, for rowing, has been an extended one."
In the meantime the Colonials have been honing their technique during indoor training sessions and taking advantage of its annual winter training trip in Tampa, Fla., and spring break rowing on the Occoquan River in nearby Woodbridge, Va.
"We did a lot of good work indoors and had a great winter training trip down in Florida," said Coach Carcich. "Normally we have about five or six weeks of indoor training before getting on the water. That was extended by about two weeks this winter. Which is good thing, we are pretty strong right now but definitely not moving on the water as efficiently as we normally are this time of year. We have about six weeks until the Atlantic 10 Championship, so we are going to have to work really hard to carry that fitness we earned indoor out onto the water. Right now, we just don't have the efficiency but it will come with race experience.
Looking ahead to this weekend, the Colonials will race four boats on Saturday afternoon against Penn and Saint Joseph's on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pa.
"The team is excited to go up and lineup against another crew and see if we can take the work we put in over the winter and translate it to race scenarios," said Coach Carcich. "Can we translate? Can we identify our issues? That is what is great about a race weekend. We get to see what do we need to be working on. It's an opportunity to lineup and go down the race course and improve each week as we work towards the Atlantic 10 Championship on May 4. Every week we need to use each race as a learning opportunity as we move forward."
The Colonials will return to Philadelphia next weekend for the annual Murphy Cup Regatta before hosting the annual, two-day George Washington Invitational on the Potomac River on April 11-12.
"The GW Invitational is a fantastic event," said Coach Carcich. "Unlike other sports that have multiple home events, this is our one big event. We do it right with 10 visiting teams coming in for two days of racing on a buoyed course on the Potomac River. It's a great spectator atmosphere with a huge jumbotron with full audio and video production. We draw a great crowd and its thrilling for us to show the whole campus community exactly what we do and how good we are at it."
GW will return to the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championships in Oak Ridge, Tenn., on April 18-19 before returning home to host George's Cup and the Class of 1998 Cup races on the Potomac River on April 27.
"We have a great rivalry with Georgetown and George Mason and that battle with those schools to be the fastest boat in the beltway is going to get tougher and tougher each year," explained coach Carcich. "We have an X on our back after winning the past few years it makes it a tougher race with everybody wanting to put their best race forward."
The Atlantic 10 Championship will be held on Saturday, May 4 on the Occoquan River in Woodbridge, Va., familiar territory for the Colonials.
"To have the Atlantic 10 championship so close this season is a big advantage for us," said Coach Carcich. "It means less travel which is key during exam week for us. It will help our girls remain focused."
Conference newcomer George Mason will play host to the A-10 Championship and the addition of the Patriots to the Atlantic 10 is an exciting prospect for the women's rowing team, as they will have an opportunity to influence the Revolutionary Rivalry standings.
"The Revolutionary Rivalry is new to us and we think it is awesome," said Coach Carcich. "We already have the 1998 Cup and George's Trophy and it is rowing only. But to have the Revolutionary Rivalry and have the opportunity to be part of something bigger than just rowing is so great. To be a part of an all-athletic department challenge is great. We are going to do our very best to hold up our end of the bargain."