UMass Builds Momentum Leading up to Head of the Charles
By Sean Richardson, MDC sportswriter and UM rower
Coming off an impressive day of racing in Shelton, CT last weekend, the Aggies defended their home course at Saturday’s Hadley chase. Racing four boats (three eight’s and one four) in the frigid rain and winning the men’s collegiate eight event. It was also the first race of the year for the Aggies novice team.
The first varsity eight dominated their event, beating the field by over fifteen seconds in a blistering 14:28.5 time. At the conclusion of the event, the top four boats from the men’s collegiate eight competed in a 500 meter dash. Massachusetts won again, edging out Vermont by less than a tenth of a second in a photo-finish.
Meanwhile, UMass’s second varsity eight took a step-forward and finished in 15:40.7, good for the seventh fastest mark in the event, but a ten second time penalty bumped the boat down to eleventh place overall.
In the collegiate 4+ race, the varsity four placed 8th, finishing with a 17:48.0 split in a very competitive heat.
Racing right before the varsity eights event was the novice eight in their first race of the fall season. Despite being on the water for only two weeks and with most of the boat having no prior rowing experience, the eight still finished in 17:15.5 behind a pair of UConn boats.
Next weekend, Massachusetts will travel to Boston for the 54th Head of the Charles Regatta, where athletes, clubs, schools, and countries from across the globe will come to compete in the most prestigious head race the world has to offer.
Leading off racing for the Aggies will be the second varsity eight, who is entered with the club eight heat, and will compete on Saturday. The first eight will go Sunday with the rest of the collegiate eights and the varsity four will conclude racing for UMass in the collegiate four event.