The Massachusetts rowing team will travel to Philadelphia this weekend for the Dad Vail regatta where at least 40 teams will be travelling from all over the country to compete.
The regatta will include teams from Sacramento State, San Diego, Duke, Buffalo and familiar conference foes Saint Josephs and Fordham.
UMass coach Jim Dietz said his whole team was pretty excited for this race. There have been a couple lineup changes, one of which includes the move to the Varsity 8 for senior Samantha Smith. Sophomore Amanda Doolin, who Dietz thinks “is a real boat mover,” will also be making her return to the team after missing last week’s regatta at Dartmouth.
Sophomore Emily Grogan and junior Kelsey Schachter will control the pair boat, a change from last week’s pair that was upended after having a successful Atlantic 10 Championship run.
Dietz thinks his Varsity 8 should be up near the top of the leader board in the Varsity 8 with some of the more successful teams like Buffalo. He also feels good about the Lightweight 8.
Training switched from their base workouts, which consisted of lower stroke ratings. Recently the team has been concentrating more on speed work.
The team will be well-rested for the regatta that will begin Friday and last through Saturday. He expects his crew to be going down the river at a pace of about 34-35 strokes per minute.
Dietz said this is a great regatta because it includes so many teams from across the country. The Dad Vail regatta is the largest collegiate regatta in the United States.
UMass will look to improve upon last weekend’s touch showing against Dartmouth, Buffalo and Cornell where both the first and second Varsity 8 boats took fourth place in their respective races.
The Minutewomen will look to challenge Buffalo just as they did last week.
A-10 First Team member senior Megan Donovan earned A-10 Student Athlete of the Year and UMass Scholar Athlete of the year. The Orange, MA native earned a 3.966 grade point average in Kinesiology.
Next week, UMass will travel to Mercer, N.J., for the U.S. Rowing Collegiate championships.
Eric Mansfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.