Crew team pulls through strong
Women’s crew started off the 2014 season with a strong showing at the Daffodil Sprints. The first regatta took place March 29 in Lakewood, Wash. on American Lake, the Loggers’ home course.
The women’s varsity 8 took first place in their division, finishing at 8:44.9. They beat out other DIII and club teams, crossing the finish 12 seconds before their closest competitor.
The crew program at Puget Sound has a long history of success. The women’s team has been to the NCAA tournament for the past 11 years and consistently beats other DII and other teams in the Northwest Conference. Tradition lies at the heart of the women’s crew team.
“Relative to other DIII schools we have a big program,” junior and co-captain Carly Fox (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) said. “It’s a very tradition rich program and we feel very connected to everyone who has been in the program in the past.”
The 2013 season was an impressive one for women’s crew. The women’s varsity 8 went to the NCAA tournament and they placed second in the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference. This season seems to be the start of another great season.
“I think we’re more motivated than we have been in the past,” sophomore Alexia Ingerson (Boulder, Colo.) said. “We came into this season really strong and our numbers are looking better and we have a better team dynamic.”
This effort paid off at the Lewis and Clark Invitational on April 5. The WV8 placed second in both events they competed in. They lost only to University of Portland, a Division I school.
The women’s novice team is also having a strong season. The novice fours took first in the Daffodil Sprints, completing the 2 kilometer race in 9:00.2. The novice boat also took second at the Lewis and Clark Invitational.
One of the strengths behind women’s crew is their great coaching staff. Head coach Aaron Benson has been at Puget Sound since the 2012-2013 season and is continuing the team’s success while also pushing them to achieve more.
“He’s extremely motivating and keeps everyone responsible for what we need to do in order to get better,” Ingerson said. “He’s a really good problem solver.”
One aspect of crew that is unique from other team sports is the relative inexperience of players when they first join.
For many team members this is their first experience with rowing. This is a testament to the quality of the coaching staff and the hard work novice rowers put in.
“I think the coolest part about our program is that you can come in with no experience and they’ll turn you into a rower,” sophomore Madeline Harris (Portland, Ore.) said. “There aren’t many collegiate sports like that. I learned athleticism from this program. “
The crew team also represents what it means to be a student-athlete.
“I think to be a DIII athlete in general you have to be really motivated because you have to balance academics and sports,” Ingerson said. “DIII athletes are extremely motivated to succeed not only on the field but in academics too.”
There are many important regattas to come for both crew teams. The men and women will face off against rivals Pacific Lutheran University. It is a tradition-rich dual race that even includes alumni races.
Later this season the teams will travel to Sacramento to face off teams from DI, II and III schools.
This is only the beginning of another strong season for women’s crew. They are well on their way to winning conference and receiving yet another NCAA bid at the end of the season.
The women’s varsity 8 is certainly a team to pay attention to, but with strong women on varsity and novice teams this season is one of many successful seasons to come.