INDIANAPOLIS--The Adrian College women’s rowing team wrapped up its fall season this past weekend as the Bulldogs traveled here to Eagle Creek Park for the Bald Eagle Collegiate Invitational. The regatta was the toughest test of the season for the Bulldogs, with a number of quality teams coming to the race.
“Our women’s team delivered a quality performance in their final regatta of the fall season,” stated Adrian head coach Bart Thompson. “This is a team in which the majority of the girls are walk-ons this season, and yet they’ve raced against a number of high-quality teams in our region and have performed quite well.”
As with most races in the fall season the regatta was run as a “head race”, in which boats are started every 20-30 seconds in a “time trial” format. The course was listed as 4,700 meters long, just under 3 miles.
The Bulldogs kicked off the regatta with the Varsity 4+ “A” event, which Thompson thought was the strongest race of the day for the women in many ways. Emily Cahill (coxswain), Allie Saff, Emily Reese, Hannah Heller and Grace Cool finished in 17 minutes and 58 seconds for fourth place. Host Purdue had the winning time of 17:26.
“Our ladies finished in fourth place out of nine crews,” Thompson said. “Most impressively, they finished only 5.4 seconds behind Dayton’s third-place entry. To be that close to a Division I varsity program in a boat comprised entirely of freshmen says a lot about our girls and the work they put forth.”
Next was the Freshmen/Novice 8+, which finished in fifth place. The Bulldogs’ lineup of Kacie Salon (coxswain), Kara Geyer, Mikayla Herig, Amelia Viar, Heather Temar, Olivia Fox, Ashleigh Mawby, Hope Hornish and Maddie Maloney finished in 18:33, with the winning entry from Grand Valley State finishing in 16:28.
“I was very proud of our ladies for their performance in this race,” beamed Thompson. “This is a group who—due to class scheduling—hasn’t been able to practice as a complete unit hardly at all this season. This was only their second day in this lineup. As such, go out and finish where they did was a solid performance for this boat.”
The penultimate race was the Freshmen/Novice 4+, in which the Bulldogs finished in eighth. The entry consisted of Rudy Schork (coxswain), Viar, Herig, Mawby and Hornish.
Thompson added: “Fall racing is an opportunity to push rowers—particularly novices—outside of their comfort zones. As such, this was another group who hasn’t gotten to practice much, but whom we wanted to challenge to race this event. The girls represented themselves well and should be proud of their first season.”
In the final race of the day, the Varsity 8+ of Geyer (coxswain), Saff, Reese, Heller, Maloney, Fox, Temar, Salon and Cool finished in sixth place.
Thompson concluded: “The ladies stated that this wasn’t their best race; they felt there were a few areas they could have done better. With that said, I am very proud of the growth that this unit showed throughout the fall season. In our first race one month ago these girls finished 1:26 behind the winning entry from Northwestern. Today, the gap to Northwestern was only 43 seconds, or literally half of what it was at the first regatta. That is a sign of our girls’ development that they’ve already achieved, and I know they have a lot of growth left in them.”
The end of this regatta marks the completion of the Bulldogs’ first rowing season in program history. The squad now heads indoors for the winter to continue to train on the indoor rowing machines in preparation for their spring season.
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