The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Women’s crew team places first at world’s largest regatta

Members of the crew team show their medals from this weekend’s regatta. (Photo courtesy of Abby Hammel ’23)

This past weekend, the Lafayette crew team competed at the Head of the Charles Regatta, the largest and one of the most prestigious competitions in all of rowing. The women’s team placed first, winning gold in the collegiate fours, while the men placed 22nd of 29.

Senior Abby Hammel, one of the four members in the gold-winning boat, said that the women’s team was not expecting a first-place finish. Lafayette has won second at this event in the past, but according to Head Coach Rick Kelliher, this was the first time in the club’s history that it won gold.

The other members of this leading boat were senior Lauren Salbinski, sophomores Noni Lorentzen and Elise Walsh, as well as freshman coxswain Ryan Comisky.

Junior coxswain Kendall Lamm said that this was a big win for Comisky, who only walked onto the team four weeks ago.

 Hammel described her and her teammates’ excitement as they caught up to the leading two boats and looked over their shoulders to see some of their former teammates and alumni holding up number one on their fingers to signify their victory.

 “Hearing them cheer the whole way down the course was just awesome to have,” Hammel said.

The crew team’s women’s varsity four-boat rows on the Charles River this past weekend. (Photo courtesy of Abby Hammel ’23)

The leading men’s boat this past weekend consisted of senior Henry Grote, juniors Lamm and Ben Arky, as well as sophomores Aaron Sigmond-Warner and Nathaniel Schulz.

 The team fell behind because of a minor collision which led to a 30-second delay.

 “They did great … I know they got into a little accident with another boat, but they have such a great mindset of really wanting to work hard and improve,” Hammel said of the men’s team. “I think they’re going to do amazing things in the spring, and they’re all 100 percent willing to put in whatever it takes to do well.”

 While Lafayette is considered a club team, they performed well against the largely NCAA Division II and Division III competition, much of which is recognized as varsity, that they faced at last weekend’s event. 

According to Kelliher, this regatta was one of the largest ever, hosting 11,000 competitors from the US and abroad. The Harvard Crimson reported that there were over 200,000 spectators along the course of the race, which stretched five miles.

Lamm explained that the race on the Charles River was much longer than events like the Dad Vail Regatta, which the team trains for in the spring.

“You want to think of it like cross country versus track. In the fall, and especially for this race, because it’s pretty much the hardest course in the country, it’s a coxswsain’s race,” Lamm said. “You’ve got to think about playing it smart more than anything else. You don’t want to tire your crew out within the first 1000 meters … so you kind of have to pace it more than in a spring race.”

Up next for the crew team is the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta this weekend, where it hopes to use its momentum for another win.

“Success at this level demands a special group of tenacious athletes, and this crew has proven to be one of Lafayette’s finest,” Kelliher wrote in an email.

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Caroline McParland
Caroline McParland, Sports Editor

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