Crew Can’t Conquer Kent; Two Second Loss

In a thrilling season opener against rival Kent, Andover Girls Crew battled hard but lost in both varsity heats. Andover demonstrated great potential for the rest of the season in the tough matchup, challenging Kent throughout the winding course. However, Andover was edged out in the last 500 meters by the more conditioned Kent squads. In an extremely close race, Andover G1 was quick and efficient off the line, which allowed the boat to keep pace with Kent for most of the first 1000 meters. “The set of the boat was the best it has been, and all the rowers were together in the water,” said Claire Harmange ’11. Even with such a strong and unified effort, Andover still faced the disadvantage of a shorter preseason training period than that of Kent, which proved to be a key factor in the team’s endurance towards the end of the race. “[Kent’s] sprint was very fast, whereas we struggled to get the rating up,” Harmange said. “We ultimately lost the race in the very last few hundred meters.” Andover G1 finished at a close second in 5:31.5, right behind an unyielding Kent G1 at 5:29.0. In the G2 race, Andover fell slightly behind at the start, but was determined not to loose any more ground. With a focus on maximizing power per stroke, Andover remained competitive throughout the race. “We were able to stay ahead the entire way down the course, so they could not gain any more water on us,” said Katherine Woonton ’11. Kent finally managed to pull ahead, however, capturing victory at 5:42.1, just over Andover’s time of 5:51.8. The G3 and G4 heats soon followed, highlighted by an unfortunate Andover G3 loss and a dominant 15 second victory for Andover’s G4. Overall, the matchup was a great opportunity for Andover to assess areas for improvement. For G1 in particular, Harmange said, “Losing such a contest definitely tells us that we must work on moves in the middle 500 meters, where we pull our power 20, and our sprint.” In addition to continued practice of timing this week, the team will focus especially on the power and the sprint in preparation for next Saturday, utilizing workouts that break up each segment of the race. “We will definitely focus on short, more race style practice pieces,” Woonton said. Andover Girls Crew will face Exeter, NMH, Boston Latin, Simsbury, and Brookline in a major race at Lake Quinsigamond, on Saturday, April 23rd.