March 4, 2015

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UMass claims second-place finish at Holy Cross

The Massachusetts rowing team came away with a second-place finish at Lake Quinisgamond at Holy Cross in Worcester Saturday.

Among the Minutewomen and the Crusaders, competing schools included Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New Hampshire and Williams, which sits atop the polls as the nation’s top Division III crew. The regatta came after an intense training session on the UMass campus Friday morning.

Before the Minutewomen even stepped foot in the lake at Holy Cross, they were already pretty tired, UMass coach Jim Dietz said. Many of the team’s rowers were attaining personal records in what was a “max 2k” or 2,000 meter test session Friday morning. The test session was “good for them psychologically” and it gave the team high morale, Dietz said.

When the Minutewomen got to Holy Cross, they were able to stay consistent throughout the 2,000 meter regatta. UMass captured second-place finishes in the Varsity 8 in 7:29.51, the second Varsity 8 in 7:45.3, the Varsity 4 in 8:36.03 and the third Varsity 8 in 7:29.5. The Novice 8 was able to place first in a time of 8:17.44. In all, with four second-place finishes, the Minutewomen trailed only the Purple Cows, who Dietz said he expected to be very fast.

Dietz said that the team is “working for a peak” and building for the conference championships that will be held in two weeks. Dietz said he holds a testing session about every two weeks that can push his rowers before they taper, or gradually decrease training for the conference championship.

Overall Dietz was pleased with his team’s effort at Holy Cross and said that he is still looking for the right combinations of rowers for specific races. All of the varsity rowers “thought they had good rows” as well.

In a change made from last week’s regatta at Rhode Island, junior Meredith Kearney was moved from the Varsity 4 to the Varsity 8 in order to give that crew “more power”. Teresa O’Brien was also moved from the Varsity 8 to the Varsity 4 and freshman Michaela Streitfield was moved up to varsity from novice.

Dietz said next weekend will include “big time racing” as some of the girls will compete in up to four races a day at the Knecht Cup in Camden, N.J.  The crew will keep training hard to prepare for that regatta, and Dietz plans to continue moving people around in the lineup.

At Holy Cross, the Varsity 8 included Kearney, Samantha Schnoerr, Jennifer Coyne, Kelsey Shacther, Alexandra DiMatteo, Jessica Stern, Samantha Smith, Amanda Doolin and Megan Rodgers. The second Varsity 8 included Streitfield, Molly Bogle, Elizabeth Euiler, Chelsea Wakeham, Emily Grogan, Rachel Spielberg, Katelyn Allocco, Megan Donovan and Ana Tocco. The Varsity 4 included O’Brien, Carly Payne, Emily Boucher, Kathryn Kern and Beth Paret. The three coxswains for the crews were Schnoerr, Bogle and Payne.

Training for UMass has continued to be limited to the indoor ergometers due to the recent flooding.

UMass will start tapering for the Atlantic 10 championships on Sunday, Dietz said.

Eric Mansfield can be reached ateamansfi@student.umass.edu.

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