As Kent pushed closer to Andover’s fifth seat, Girls Crew Boat One (G1) pushed back with five quickly caught strokes, increasing their lead on Kent. This back and forth race continued for all 1500 meters until Andover pulled across the finish line in first place. This brings G1’s record to 2-0.
According to Daphne Edwards ’23, the boat’s mindset was critical to its win against Kent. She explained how it was important for the boat to get into a race day mindset early on before the race.
“I think today honestly what won us the race was our mentality. We had a meeting before. We very much knew Kent was a really strong crew, but we recognized that and…even in our warm-up, we were like we’re gonna get it together and we’re gonna focus and take every stroke with full effort,” said Edwards.
Hannah Justicz ’22 detailed a demanding part of the race where Kent started to try and pull ahead. Justicz explained the importance of togetherness and timing as Andover pushed against Kent.
“I think it was…about a third of the way into the race. Kent started to make a move. I don’t know if they use rate or just press. I think at that point we did our five strokes for quick catches, and I think then they kind of tried to move on us. I was really proud of how we responded, and from there we were actually reading into the base pace of our race higher, at like 34 rates, but we had been practicing 32. I think we are really used to that since we’re in general kind of a smaller group and they were bigger girls than we are,” said Justicz.
Adding on, Ameri Vest ’23 noted the boat’s exceptional performance in the final stretch of the race. She was proud of the final part of the race, as it was something the boat had been working on in the past.
“Our sprint was really strong. We’ve been working on it in practice, and it was much smoother, much quicker, and we’re all really proud of the improvement. I think we were all really excited and we were putting in our full effort. We’ve been going really strong this week and overcoming a few hurdles. A few of the girls in our boat who were originally supposed to race today got [Covid-19], so were unavailable to be here…We completely came back with an optimistic view and, even though there were some times where we were a little concerned about how it was gonna go, I think it was our optimism and full efforts that won it,” said Vest.
Justicz felt that as “stroke,” the teammate who keeps the rhythm of the boat, it was extremely important for her to keep energy high. She knew that the team was feeling anxious due to the Covid-19 cases, so Justicz aimed to keep the mindset positive and raise team energies.
“I think one important thing was energy. I try to convey a tone of good energy. I kind of like to bring other good energy out of other people. I think we actually lost two G1 rowers to [Covid-19] this past week so we added two new rowers which we were super excited about. But that was a change, and so I kind of think making sure everyone felt happy to be there,” said Justicz.
According to Vest, the team is going to work on the early stages of the race this week. Though the boat felt good about this week’s race, Vest added that there is still room for improvement.
Vest said, “I think we [need to] work on our start. That’s probably one of the most important parts of the race. Getting off quickly. That was one thing we all talked about and think we could improve on next time…It was a close race, Kent raced really well and they’re gonna come back stronger so we have to come back even stronger.”
Girls Crew’s next race will be on Saturday against Duxbury.