Crew Wins Against Colby
Published: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 20:04
On the morning of April 7, Smith Crew raced against Colby, Wesleyan, WPI and Middlebury at Lake Quinsigamond where Smith’s varsity four earned a victory over Colby.
The second and third varsity eight came in third, right behind Wesleyan and Middlebury, respectively. Middlebury raced the three novice boats, with Middlebury claiming the first position, and the “A,” “B” and “C” boats coming in second, third and fourth respectively.
“This is the largest group I have had, with a total of 65 athletes,” said Karen Klinger, crew team coach. “We managed to race 59 of them yesterday, so the main thing I experienced in general was constant motion. Getting everyone there, on the water, off the water, fed and organized takes a lot of energy. Add to that trying to manage their experience in a way that allows them to learn from racing, and it’s a busy day.”
“What is terrific is that even though we are a much bigger team, we have been able to race a large percentage of the team each week,” Klinger continued. “This is the first year in history we have raced a third novice boat, and it is fun to watch them get faster.”
Across the teams, a strong tailwind challenged racers out on the lake.
“If you can picture running downhill, where you have to concern yourself with balance and controlling your speed, rather than going fast...that is what a strong tailwind is like,” Klinger said. “It showed me that we need more time working at race speed, so that they can become more comfortable with going hard when the conditions are rough. They want to go fast, but need poise when things are rough.”
The current crew team has a large number of ‘young’ racers, or novices to the sport, according to Klinger.
“Add to that, we are still in the phase of trying to figure out who is in what boats, so the boats have not practiced together for very long,” she said. “The race on Saturday was a bit of an ‘exploratory mission’ to see how the lineups did and to see what we need to work on.”
Klinger is optimistic about future races, and looks forward to this weekend’s race against Mount Holyoke. Saturday, April 14, will be Smith Crew’s first race against Mount Holyoke since Seven Sisters regatta last fall.
The week after, the crew team heads to the NEWMAC Championships on April 21. At NEWMAC, hosted in Worcester, the team will face Coast Guard, WPI, Mount Holyoke and Wellesley College. Wellesley took third in the country last year.
Klinger expressed confidence about the team’s performance.
“[Upcoming races are] definitely a challenge, but since we see [Mount Holyoke] and WPI again, we will be able to judge whether or not we have improved,” Klinger said.
Worcester, one of the few 2,000 meter race courses in the country that can host large regattas, is familiar turf for the Smith team.
“Worcester is where we race most of our races, so it’s like a home course,” Klinger said. “Each week we become more comfortable with the course.”
“I have every confidence that we will go faster each week through the rest of the season,” she added. “The group this year is a challenge on many levels, but they are also fun to coach, because they are enthusiastic about the sport and always learning. I have 16 seniors, who I am working with for the last time, but also over 30 first years … seeing them develop is really great.”