GW Women's Rowing Opens Spring Season on Saturday in Philadelphia
March 22, 2013
WASHINGTON - The George Washington women's rowing team will open the spring portion of its 2012-13 schedule on Saturday against Penn and Atlantic 10 rival Saint Joseph's on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pa.
The Colonials will race against both the Hawks and Quakers in a quartet of three-boat races.
"We have some tough early season races," said Head Coach Eric Carcich. "This opening weekend we have Penn of the Ivy League, one of the fastest teams we will be facing this year. We also face St. Joe's, which is a conference rival. It is a good early-season test for us."
Last season, the George Washington women's rowing team stayed under the radar en route to massive victories in the GW Invitational, 1998 Cup and George's Cup. Their strong season culminated in a second-place finish at the Atlantic 10 Championships, the programs highest finish at the event since the 2003 season.
"An old coaching mentor of mine used to tell me, `last year was last year and this year is this year'", said Head Coach Eric Carcich. "This past offseason, we really started fresh, but built off some of the good things we established last season. We are using that to try to get faster, but at the same time remembering that everything is different."
One difference headed into the 2013 spring season comes in the incentive to win the Atlantic 10 Championship. For the first time in conference history, the winner of the A-10 Championship will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Rowing National Championships.
"As a result of the new automatic qualifier, I felt that we needed to get more action in at the start of the season," explained Coach Carcich. "We want to be at maximum speed by May 4th, so we will be challenging ourselves with some really tough early-season races. It's exciting and a little nerve-racking, but it's going to give us a great sense of where we stand and what we need to do moving forward."
Following this weekend's season opener against Saint Joseph's and Penn, the Colonials will head north to Kingston, R.I., to face defending A-10 champion Rhode Island in addition to Massachusetts and Boston College.
"This is something we have never done before," said Coach Carcich of the team's trip to Rhode Island. "Obviously, URI is going to be fast and tough on their home water, and of course UMass and BC are no strangers to racing in cold weather. It's going to be tough, but it's a great test for us."
Following their visit to URI, the Colonials return to the Potomac River to host the annual George Washington Invitational, April 12-13.
"We are really excited about the direction that this event is headed," said Coach Carcich. "We have amazing support from alumnus Dave Wilson to help put on this regatta. We have 12 programs from around the United States coming here, including Gonzaga from the West Coast. It's our only home event and our one opportunity to show the GW Community exactly what we do."
After the GW Invite, the Colonials will head south to Oak Ridge, Tenn., for the annual Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championships. In their first-ever appearance at the event last season, the Colonials sent three boats to the Grand Finals.
On April 28, the Colonials will look to defend George's Cup in a series of races against local rivals Georgetown and George Mason. In its second year of existence last spring, the Colonials swept four races to claim the trophy.
The Atlantic 10 Championships will once again be held on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J., on May 4. The winner of the event will automatically qualify for the 2013 NCAA Women's Rowing National Championships, May 31-June 2 at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Ind.