Rowing club competes at Governor’s Cup Regatta

The Carnegie Mellon rowing club traveled this past weekend to the University of Charleston in Charleston, W.Va. to compete in the 34th annual Governor’s Cup Regatta with Virginia Tech, the University of Charleston, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio University, Xavier University, Denison University, and John Carroll University in attendance. Due to the structure of the race, many Tartan rowers were able to compete in at least five events, which is an unusual occurrence for the Carnegie Mellon team since most races only allow individuals to race once per tournament level.

“This is always a fun race for us. As a rower, you love to get so many chances to race and earn medals,” said men’s captain Chris Herlich. “We were worried the weather wouldn’t cooperate, but in the end the sun beat away the clouds and the wind, and both novice and varsity crews came home with some hardware.”

Powerful wind and startling thunderstorms halted the races briefly, but once the weather cleared up, Carnegie Mellon was on the water and brought in numerous medals with solid times.

“The weather was both beautiful at times, and dangerous at others,” Nick Smarto, a Tartan rower. said. “The water would go back and forth from calm to turbulent, but Carnegie Mellon adapts well on the water.”

The men’s collegiate 2 team received a gold medal for its performance in the two-kilometer race, rowing an impressive 7:10.7. The lightweight men’s 4+ raced in the heavyweight men’s 4+ final and took the bronze medal, behind first-place Virginia Tech and second-place John Carroll.

The Carnegie Mellon’s women’s varsity 4+ boat with sophomores Alexandra Cirillo, Alyssa Fogel, and Megan Larcom, and first-year Emily Anderson received first place in the Petit final.

In addition, several other boats had received gold-medal finishes. The men’s novice 4+ boat with first-years Mark Thurman, Justin Perry, and Sean Lubner, and junior Nick Smarto won the event.

The Tartans’ mixed 8+ boat dominated the event, and coach Ben Althof and alumnus Adam Suhy (Class of 2007) won the gold in the men’s double. Coach Georgia Bullen also raced and earned a gold medal in the 2K event.

“Carnegie Mellon is one of those rowing teams that really takes the victory in the last 500 meters,” Smarto said. “That’s just our style; we sneak up on the competition.”

The Carnegie Mellon rowers may have lost some weight during the day full of races, but they earned enough medals to balance the weight back out. Many of the other races were opportunities to bring home silver medals, including the women’s varsity 8+ in the dash event.

Cirillo commented on the regatta experience, saying “It was a gorgeous day and, of course, a terrific bonding experience for the team.”

The team will next compete at the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate championships in Fairfax, Va. on Sunday.

“Overall, the team is very proud of its performance, but we aren’t letting our pride get in the way of our determination to practice hard for our last two upcoming races. We are determined to repeat and perfect this weekend’s performance,” Smarto said.