Sports

Crew toughs out races at Knecht Cup

The novice men’s 4+ rows along the Cooper River. (credit: Courtesy of Elizabeth Mahaffa) The novice men’s 4+ rows along the Cooper River. (credit: Courtesy of Elizabeth Mahaffa) The two pairs of seniors Judith Vogel and Natalie Weir and juniors Megan Larcom and Alyssa Fogel. (credit: Courtesy of Elizabeth Mahaffa) The two pairs of seniors Judith Vogel and Natalie Weir and juniors Megan Larcom and Alyssa Fogel. (credit: Courtesy of Elizabeth Mahaffa)

With over 50 schools in attendance — including Bucknell University, Lehigh University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Rochester — the Carnegie Mellon rowing club recorded three solid performances at the two-day Knecht Cup on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J. this past weekend. For a 2000-meter race, the women’s varsity 4+, novice men’s 8+, and a women’s varsity pair all took second place in their respective races, while another duo placed third.

Friday provided ideal weather for race day when most of the Tartans, including women’s and men’s varsity pairs and 4+ teams, two men’s novice 4+ teams, and women’s and men’s novice 8+ teams, competed in heats and semi-final rounds.

“The team did well. In a couple races, our boats edged out other teams within the last 100 meters,” first-year Harold Kim said. “In one heat of the men’s varsity pair, the pair pulled ahead with five strokes left to go, beating out Brandeis by less than two seconds.”

Despite optimal conditions the previous day, Saturday served up cold winds and torrential rain that impeded the flow and excitement of racing in the intense competition, as the athletes sought shelter rather than enjoying the weather.

“The rain made some schools reconsider sending their boats out for competition, and some heats scheduled for multiple boats were narrowed down to two or three,” Kim said. As the day’s event continued, it was clear that whoever crossed the finish line in the end demonstrated what first-year Grant Wilson called the “survival of the fittest,” a true test of dominance on the water.

The novice men’s 8+ faced harsh winds that gave the boats difficulty in lining up for the beginning signal, and two boats crashed shortly after the start of the race, which led to a restart. Once the race was underway again, Marietta College’s boat could not hold off nature’s influence and collided into the shore, inevitably running down the clock; by the time they realigned, the race was almost over.

The rowing team will next hit the water April 25 for the Governor’s Cup in Charleston, W. Va.