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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Crew sweeps the board at Gifford Pinchot Sprints Regatta

Some members of the crew team will represent Lafayette in Tennessee this month. (Photo courtesy of @lafcrew on Instagram)

The Lafayette club crew team had a stellar showing this past weekend at the Gifford Pinchot Sprints Regatta.

The team had nine boats racing including Women’s Varsity 4, Women’s Varsity 8, Women’s Novice 4, Men’s Varsity 4, Men’s Varsity 8, Men’s Novice 4 and Men’s Novice 8. 

After some uncertainty that the races would take place due to inclement weather, the team swept the regatta with first-place wins across the board. The only team that did not place first was the Third Women’s Varsity 4, which placed second to the team’s own Second Women’s Varsity 4. The team also won points trophies in both the men’s and women’s categories.

Looking back on the weekend’s success, sophomore Aaron Sigmond-Warner said that it really showed the capabilities of the team going forward.

“To say I am excited for the future of this program is an understatement,” he said.

With so many boats racing and so many rowers racing in multiple boats, the team had to do some quick changes over the course of the day.

“We had to hot-seat people who were racing in multiple boats, as we would get out of our boat from the previous race and immediately get into another boat for the next race,” first-year Owen Piskorowski wrote in an email.

Another highlight of the weekend included strong finishes from the team’s novice boats.

“It’s cool to see them coming into their own as rowers and I’m really excited to see what they do,” sophomore Ellie Walsh said.

Going into the weekend, the team had been spending a lot of time on the water doing a combination of short pieces to work on speed and longer pieces to focus on technique.

“Each boat spent a lot of time working together to improve on strategy,” Piskorowski wrote.

This weekend comes after a series of wins for the team this season. Both the men’s and women’s varsity boats have had top finishes at every regatta this season.

“If I had to pick one standout moment it would have to be our women’s Varsity 4 winning the Knecht Cup against prolific crew programs … I don’t think people realize how impressive they have been, having only lost one race since their insane victory at Head of the Charles in the fall, despite facing stiff competition,” Sigmond-Warner said.

The Women’s Varsity 4 boat beat second-place George Mason by 35 seconds with a time of 7:32. 

“It’s really fun to race against high-profile teams [to] see what we can do,” Walsh said.

Moving forward, the team will continue to train and hold practices into May before closing out their spring season at the Dad Vail Regatta in Pennsauken, New Jersey.

“We have a break this upcoming week so [we’re] just getting as much time on the water as we can to get ready for Vails, which is our big race for the spring season,” Walsh said. 

The Novice Men’s 4, Varsity Men’s 4 and Varsity Women’s Pair will be representing Lafayette at the American College Rowing Association (ACRA) this postseason. The regatta will take place from May 19–21 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and is recognized as the largest collegiate regatta in the United States. Club teams from over 35 states will be represented.

Following the ACRA, the rowers will be doing their own strength training and workouts to keep in shape and come into the fall season with faster boats.

“Since we have pretty intense training through [the] fall, winter, and spring, the summer is a less intense program to allow for recovery and rest,” Sigmond-Warner said.

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Fiona Cannon
Fiona Cannon, Staff Sports Writer

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