Crew races at the Head of Occoquan

The Carnegie Mellon crew team traveled to Fairfax, Va. to race at the Head of the Occoquan Saturday. The Tartans raced five varsity and seven novice boats. The race course at Occoquan Reservoir stretches 5000 meters and has four major turns that make navigation and racing difficult.

“For the novice team, this was the first race away from home, and they adapted to the road very well,” said Nick Smarto, a senior on the varsity team. “Once they hit the water, all the practice of the past few months seemed to pay off and they exceeded our expectations.”

On the varsity side, the women’s collegiate four placed 11th, 19th, and 22nd out of 27 teams. The open boat that placed 11th consisted of juniors Alyssa Fogal, Megan Larcom, Alexandra Cirillo, sophomore Claire Herdeman, and sophomore coxswain Anthea Fernandes; the 19th-place team consisted of lightweight boat juniors Hillary Smith and Danielle Millett, sophomores Leandra Mosca, Nadja Yacker, and coxswain Lizzy Genatowski; and the 27th-place mixed boat made up of sophomores Hilary Baribeau, Heather Lynn, Emily Lesinski, and Sandy Roh, including senior coxswain Chris Herlich.

The men’s heavyweight boat of Smarto, sophomore Justin Perry, first-years Chris Burchhardt and Colin Haas, and sophomore coxswain Valerie Jordan placed 10th, and the lightweight boat of senior Brian McGraw, sophomores Sean Lubner, Edward Burns, and Brian Hoskins, and senior coxswain Elliot Beltzer placed 13th out of of 31 places in the men’s collegiate four race.

“Compared to previous years, the team did really well,” McGraw said. “Both the varsity and the novice had lots of boats in the top third of large fields of competition. The course is very hard to steer, so you could probably give and take 30 seconds to your time depending on how well the coxswain navigated the race. My boat got 13th out of 31; we thought we had a really good race and are excited about the upcoming spring season.”

The Tartans will close out the season with the Car-Du-Pitt race for the Pittsburgh rowing programs Saturday on the Allegheny River between the 40th Street and 31st Street bridges.