Aggies finish the season at ACRA championships in Georgia
By Sean Richardson
Massachusetts concluded their 2019 spring campaign this past weekend with the ACRA national championships. The regatta took place at Lake Lanier Olympic Park in Gainesville, Georgia, where racing took place across Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with time trials, heats, semis, and reps taking place the first two days, Meanwhile, all finals took place during late Saturday and all of Sunday.
UMass fielded four crews in the first, second, and third varsity eight events, along with a novice eight. Each crew competed well and raced hard against the top schools that the ACRA has to offer.
Weather was calm with a slight headwind throughout the weekend, however, the biggest factor was the heat. Temperatures reached as high as 95 degrees on Saturday and Sunday, in addition to high humidity levels which made racing especially taxing.
Leading off the championships for the Aggies was the V8 in the team’s only race of the day. Despite being seeded fourth in their heat, the crew was able to place third in a time of 6:17.348 and skip reps for an automatic trip to the A/B semis.
The novice started off a busy day of racing early Saturday morning in the second heat of their event. The crew raced hard but placed fifth, advancing the novice to the repechage later in the day. Here, the crew raced much better than they did in their heat, but a fast BC crew won the repechage and forced the novice into the petite final.
Next, the second varsity eight drew a fast heat and earned sixth which put them into their own repechage. In the rep, the 2V earned a trip to the petite final after placing third behind UC Davis and UC Irvine.
UMass’s 3V competed in a preliminary heat to determine lanes for Sunday’s grand final. The crew placed fourth out of five other crews with a 6:38.851 mark.
In the V8 A/B semifinal, the Aggies finished sixth after posting a 6:18.605 time in a tough field.
Kicking off the finals for UMass was the third varsity eight in the grand final, finishing last out of five crews with a 6:43.755 mark.
Later that morning, the novice eight took first place by open water in the petite final with a 6:36.659 mark, finishing the crew at ninth overall for their event.
Shortly after, the 2V finished with their best race of the weekend, earning second in the petite final with a 6:33.372 time and edging out a strong Purdue crew by less than a second.
Rounding out the ACRA championships for the Aggies was the first varsity eight who also competed in the petite final and took fourth place in a time of 6:24.825.
All in all, the Aggies finished 14th out of 60 men’s teams, and 24th overall out of the 85 combined men’s and women’s teams at the ACRA championships.
With the season now over, the Aggies won’t rejoin until preseason commences in late August back on the Connecticut River. The squad is expected to return over three eights worth of oarsman and coxswains, along with several freshman recruits who will be joining the team as well.
Lastly, we would like to give a special thank you to our five seniors (Jeremy, Carl, Allan, Ekim, and Mike) and their families for their time, effort, sacrifice, and dedication to the program for the last four years. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors and welcome you to Aging Aggies alumni family!