Crew teams open season at Murphy Cup

Strong performances highlighted the first regatta of the 2005 season for the Carnegie Mellon crew team. The 23rd Annual Murphy Cup Regatta was held Saturday in Philadelphia, PA and hosted by Temple University. Both Carnegie Mellon?s men?s and women?s crew teams were in attendance. This was both of the teams? first races of the spring season. The team has been back on the water since after spring break and went to Aiken, South Carolina for training during the break. All of the races were 2000 meters long, and in rowing terms, considered ?sprints.?
In the women?s varsity lightweight four person division, senior Emily Mackay, junior Sarah Crosskey, sophomore Stefanie Sydlik and graduate student Audria Stubna took first place in front of University of Pittsburgh and Lehigh University with a time of 7:35.93. They finished over four seconds ahead of a tired Pitt team.
In the women?s varsity heavyweight four person division the women, coxswain sophomore Abby Sanders and rowers senior Franny Ritchie, junior Darbi Roberts, sophomore Maura Ferguson, and senior Steph Busi came in third behind a strong Villanova team that finished lengths ahead of the field. Navy and Carnegie Mellon battled it out for second, but Navy pulled through to take silver by only seven-tenths of a second. The Tartans were third with a strong time of 7:35.65. It was an encouraging performance from some of the women's team veterans.
?We have worked hard over the winter months indoors and now we are getting to show what we can do on the water,? said women?s team captain Sarah Wilson. ?CMU Crew has put together amazingly strong top boats in each of the four divisions: heavyweight men, lightweight men, open women, and lightweight women. It?s a great time for the team, and I am excited to see what is to come for the rest of the semester. Our novice team started out small this year, but they have really pulled together to make three competitive boats as well.?
In the men?s races, the Carnegie Mellon men?s varsity heavyweight four person A team, which consisted of senior coxswain Jared Deible and rowers senior Gary Feigenbaum, first-year Greg Collins, senior Justin Samuels, and sophomore Adam Suhy came in third place behind Dowling University and Army with a time of 6:45.71. They defeated notable NCAA Division I schools such as Temple, and Lehigh in the competitive race and set the stage for an impressive season to come.
In the four person novice men's division the Tartan men came in fourth behind University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, and Lehigh University with a time of 7:19.21 finishing nearly 30 seconds behind the victorious Pitt squad. In a special Division II and III exclusive race, the women?s varsity eight squad placed fourth.
Team improvements were apparent across the board. In 2004, the women?s lightweight four person team got third place with a time of 7:50.67, behind Villanova and Temple. This year?s results show an improved team with the much faster time of 7:35.93. However, the Tartans decided not to compete in many events in which the team previously excelled. Last year at the Murphy Cup, the men?s pair team, a two-person boat, took first place but did not participate in the event this year, failing to defend their title. The men?s lightweight eight person team also placed second last year behind St. Joe?s with a time of 6:32.44, but had no representation in 2005.
Both the men?s and women?s teams seemed extremely pleased with the first meet of the season. Men?s captain Collins said, ?The Tartans had a very strong performance this weekend. The men?s team had their strongest performance in the Murphy Cup to date with the heavyweight men finishing in third place and the novice men placing fourth in their final. These results set the bar high for a great spring season.?
The crew teams will return to Pittsburgh for the University Athletic Association Championships next week. This meet is arguably the most important for the team, as it will set the groundwork for making crew a varsity sport at colleges within the UAA.