On Saturday, the women’s crew team added more hardware to its perfect season. The Bulldogs defeated Boston University and Dartmouth in all but one event, claiming the Class of 1985 Cup in Hanover, N.H.
The Varsity Eight clocked in at 6:46.0, topping second place BU’s 6:50.8 and third place Dartmouth’s 7:03.6. The Elis got off to a slow start in the first Varsity event but came back to win the race by a comfortable margin.
“I don’t think we raced our first 1,000 meters to the best of our ability,” captain Litsy Witkowski ’04 said. “But we were aggressive and made an effective push in the second 1,000 meters, allowing us to break through BU and win the race.”
The results of the second Varsity race were the same as the first. The Bulldogs won the event with a time of 7:26.9, BU finished second at 7:40.2, and Dartmouth clocked in at 7:54.3 to finish third.
The Elis won the Varsity Four with a time of 7:29.6. BU followed at 7:38.4, and Dartmouth finished at 7:53.8. The Bulldogs also won the 3v4 B race with a score of 7:58.8, easily defeating Dartmouth, who ended with a time of 7:53.8.
Head coach Will Porter was encouraged by this weekend’s performance. He was particularly impressed by the Elis’ resolve in dealing with the difficult racing conditions in New Hampshire.
“I’m proud of the way we raced,” Porter said. “The three Varsity boats — the ones that count toward NCAA qualification — were excellent. There were plenty of things that could have distracted the group on Saturday. It was very cold and windy, and there were still large ice chunks in the water.”
Porter was excited to see the team at full strength.
“Our squad was finally healthy,” Porter said. “For the first time, we got to see the full strength of the Varsity crews.”
Despite the team’s undefeated success, the Elis are looking to get even better in preparation for the upcoming Eastern Sprints.
“We are always looking to improve our rowing technique and translate what we can do at the lower rates into our races,” Witkowski said. “Every time we race we get to know ourselves and our race plan better. We learn from what worked and what didn’t and use that to race even more effectively the next time. All of this racing knowledge culminates with our race at Eastern Sprints.”
The only event the Bulldogs failed to win on Saturday was the Freshman Eight race. The Elis finished third with a time of 7:14.7, behind Dartmouth at 7:06.4 and BU at 7:02.3. Though the loss dropped the Novice crew to 2-4 on the season, the Bulldog rookies are still optimistic about the rest of the season.
“We had a different coxswain and a new rower in our boat, and they both did a great job in the race,” Christine Geiser ’07 said. “BU and Dartmouth have fast freshman crews. We stayed strong and in the race the whole time. This race was much better than last weekend’s race against Cornell. We know what we have to work on.”
Next Saturday, the Elis travel to New Jersey to face Princeton.
“Princeton is tough,” Porter said. “This weekend, we will be racing as underdogs for the first time. But there’s much less pressure, and sometimes it’s more fun that way.”