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UMass wraps up fall season

After a respectable effort at the Green Monster Regatta at Dartmouth last weekend which featured only novice rowers, the Massachusetts rowing team will conclude its 2010 fall season this weekend on the waters of the Charles River in Boston for the Foot of the Charles Regatta.

The novice team, led by assistant coach Alex Binkowski, performed decently in its first featured competition.

Racing against the likes of MIT, Boston College and Holy Cross, the Minutewomen brought two boats to compete in the 8+ race. The boats crossed the finish line in 12th place at 17 minutes, 13.10 seconds and in 13th place at 17:26.50.

The novice team will look to build off that performance, but although the Foot of the Charles is primarily a novice race, a few varsity members will also make the trip for the last race of the fall campaign.

The squad will be returning to the same site of the Head of the Charles, the most prestigious and glorified race of the fall year.

However, contrary to last month, in which UMass raced against Olympic and national crews, the Foot of the Charles is a collegiate-only event and will bode well for it as it faces much more level competition.

The course layout is very similar to last month’s race and should be an edge for the novice rowers. For the varsity rowers traveling to Boston, however, the race will focus less on the results and more on techniques and getting some extra work and competition in before the end of the season.

While some of the varsity team will head to Boston, the Minutewomen will not their elite and more experienced racers. Instead, four women will be going to Boston with different plans in trying to gain a spot on the U-23 United States National Team at the annual USRowing Identification Camp.

Senior Ali DiMatteo, juniors Amanda Doolin and Kendall Bennett and sophomore Michaela Streitfield will all attend the camp and attempt to follow in the footsteps of teammate Emily Boucher, a junior who earned a spot on the national team last year.

Still, the Minutewomen are using all of these pieces as building blocks for the spring, when they will attempt to avenge their close loss in the Atlantic 10 championship last season.

With the squad seemingly at peak form, Coach Jim Dietz said that the team is still working towards a much more successful spring.
“We’re really just getting into the year,” Dietz said last week. “Things are progressing and we’re going to continue to train hard.”

After the conclusion of the fall season this weekend, the Minutewomen will look ahead to their winter training session in Florida in January, where they will build towards the spring season and a run at their 14th A-10 championship.

Stephen Hewitt can be reached at shewitt@student.umass.edu.

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