Andover Girls Crew hosted the St. Paul’s School and Community Rowing, Inc. (CRI) of Boston this past Saturday at the Andover Boathouse in Methuen, Mass.
Before the race began, Head Coach Dale Hurley called together all of the rowers and spectators for a dedication ceremony of a new racing shell for the Girls Crew team. A name was inscribed on the bow of the boat.
Hurley called over Kathryn Lucier “Luc” Green, a former Andover faculty member who coached Andover Girls Crew and taught in the Mathematics department from 1994-2011. She is currently the head coach for St. Paul’s girls crew. After Green walked over, Hurley revealed the name on the bow was hers, and that the newest shell in the Andover fleet was now dedicated to her.
“I have two favorite things about the shell: the history behind it and the slides,” said Vienna Kuhn ’16. “I’ve heard about the impact ‘Luc’ had on the Andover Crew program since I started rowing here, so getting to hear from the Coaches and her old rowers during the dedication really personified her legacy. Also, the slides of the seats are really smooth. You can’t even tell you’re moving sometimes.”
After the closing remarks of the ceremony, it was time for the race.
Last year, Andover travelled to St. Paul’s for the race. It was handily swept, with G1 and G2 both losing by nearly ten seconds and G3 losing by three. This was a year for redemption, much like many other races this season. With G1 in its new shell, and a highly motivated G2 and G3, the team was poised for victory on a warm Saturday afternoon.
G3 raced first, hoping to set the tone for the day. The line-up featured Claire Glover ’16, Anna Zimmer ’17, Alex-Maree Roberts ’16, Alessandra Allen ’16, Marina Folz ’15, Caroline Corwin ’17, Adrienne Allen ’16 and Lauryn Roberts ’17, with coxswain Grace Hannam ’17. Andover lost the race to CRI, who did not have a time recorded for the race, but according to Coach Brendan Mackinson, “CRI won by two seats in a close race.” While it was a tough loss, the girls from G3 were soon cheering for their teammates in the upcoming races, as the G2 and G1 races took place next.
The G2 lineup featured Sam Hawley ’16, Fiona Yonkman ’16, Amanda Krakauer ’15, Evelyn Mesler ’17, Lila Brady ’18, Liz Irvin ’17, Claire Tao ’16 and Sofie Brown ’18. The coxswain was Janet Conklin ’17. G2 pulled itself to victory by three seconds over CRI, with a time of 5:34.
The girls in G1 carried the brand new “Kathryn Lucier Green” shell down to the dock, its new hull paint shining in the hot sun. The lineup of G1 was Isabella Berkley ’15, Co-Captain Qiqi Ren ’15, Julia Marcus ’15, Lane Unsworth ’15, Charlotte Chazen ’15, Cara Cavanaugh ’15, Co-Captain Elizabeth Kemp ’15 and Kuhn. Katie Santoro ’15 was the coxswain.
“St. Paul’s and CRI both had a strong start and may have even had a lead on us in the first 25 strokes, but when we shifted to our steady race rating, we had solid power and pulled ahead. CRI tried to make a move in the middle 500 but we countered it. In the last 250, we started our sprint and really pulled away to finish,” said Kuhn.
Andover won the race with a time of 5:25. CRI came in second place with a time of 5:31 and St. Paul’s came in third with a time of 5:33.
The wins came as a surprise to some of the rowers, including Kemp, but they were all aware that the hard work that they had put in during practice had paid off.
Kemp said, “To be honest I can’t exactly pinpoint what made us do so well against CRI versus other years. I can say, however, that coming back from a few away regattas we were focusing all week on our course. [Coach] Hurley really made both the rowers and coxswains prepared with our course so that when it came to racing on it on Saturday it felt very comfortable. We knew what it was going to be like, with a bit of variation in the weather and wind of course, at the different points of the race, and I think this really helped is relaxed come race day.”
Ren added, “Our top priority is making sure we get stronger and faster every week so that we are ready for [New England Interscholastic Rowing Association (NEIRAs)], which is our focus. We need to have an even larger lead over Exeter than we did a few weeks ago, and we need to show [Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH)] and Tabor that we are a stronger team than we were last year.”
Coach Hurley took a lot of pride in his team’s performance. “I was very impressed with how our boats fared against CRI and St Paul’s School,” he said.
“It was quite a turnaround from last year,” Hurley continued. “Since CRI is not even in our league, and they have historically been very strong. It was a big boost of confidence for the team with NEIRA¹s coming up so soon. It was a beautiful day for racing, and we are looking to capitalize on practice time for the Saturday race against the very competitive [Phillips Academy Exeter], Tabor and NMH crew programs.”
Andover takes on its number-one rival, Exeter, along with Tabor and NMH at home on Saturday.