PA Girls Varsity Boats Remain Undefeated in League Competition, Flying by St. Paul’s and Tabor, Slipping Past Exeter at the Finish

The Andover Girl’s Crew team continued its successful season with great races against St. Paul’s and the Community Rowing Institute, and against Exeter and Tabor. The two varsity boats remain undefeated in the league. G1 fell only to CRI, a crew they will not face at Interschols, and the second boat has yet to be beaten, but the third boat took losses in both of their races. St. Paul’s was the last boat that Andover had to beat before they had defeated ever boat they will face at Interschols, and the first boat took a resounding victory. The race turned out to be a better piece than any the team had seen all week. CRI took a lead over both boats early on in the race and kept it until the end, finishing at 4:55.1. Andover was surprisingly close on their heels, and took an impressive amount of open water on St. Paul’s. Andover finished at 5:01.7, just six seconds behind CRI. “In the rowing world, coming within six seconds of a club crew like that is pretty respectable,” said Captain Jessie Daigneault ’04, “That was a good race to get us back on track and ready for Exeter week.” St. Paul’s finished well behind with a time of 5:15.4. G2 was the only Andover girls boat to win their race, and it was an impressive win. “They are just unbelievably fast, and to beat up on both CRI and SPS is huge,” said Daigneault, “They go out on the water and that’s it- they are in race mode and there’s no touching them until they are back off the water. They just fly.” Despite their resounding victory, the start of Andover’s race was a little scary for the crew. “It looked like everyone was really frantic,” said coxswain Jess Fan ’05, “We were kind of unnerved by the fact that CRI stayed with us for the first par of the race. Usually we leave everyone behind in the first twenty strokes, but they held on to us.” The girls got it back though, and took a lead over CRI and left St. Paul’s well in their wake. Marcella Viktorin ’05 said of the finish, “We’d worked hard on that sprint, and it showed in the race. We were moving fast.” Andover’s time was 5:06.9, followed by CRI (5:11.6) and St. Paul’s (5:19.5), G3 suffered their first loss of the season against St. Paul’s and CRI, giving up open water to the St. Paul’s crew. Staying with St. Paul’s and CRI through the first 500, Andover began to give up seats to both boats going through the middle of the race. By the end, St. Paul’s had taken a considerable lead on the Andover crew, winning with a time of 5:26.9, followed by CRI and Andover at 5:35.9 and 5.39.7 respectively. Last weekend, Andover raced Exeter and Tabor on its home course. As Daigneault said, “The first boat race was awesome.” Andover and Exeter kept even through the first 500, but Exeter took a lead going through the middle of the race. Towards the last 500, Andover walked up a little, and gained a lead on the sprint finish. “We just wrecked them,” said Daigneault, “It was the best sprint I’ve ever experienced; we just totally walked on them.” Andover won at 5:04.24, followed by Exeter (5:05.78) and Tabor (5:26.33). The second boat outdid themselves in their race. Taking the lead on both Exeter and Tabor right from the start, the Big Blue kept their lead decisively throughout the race, and finished with another stellar sprint at a time of 5:24.31. Exeter followed in 5:33.75 and Tabor came in third with 5:55.10. As Daigneault said, “G2 doesn’t worry about winning, but by how much they can possibly win by.” G3 sadly gave up their race to Exeter by just a few seconds. Exeter took a lead off the start in just the first five strokes, and lengthened it through the first 500. During the middle 500, Andover pulled up even to Exeter and took a lead of a seat or two, before lowering their ratings and giving the lead back. Demoralized going into the final 500, Andover tried unsuccessfully to pull it back in the sprint. Exeter won with 5:43.3, followed by Andover (5:46.5) and Tabor (6:10.2).