Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass heads to Camden for A-10 Championships

The Massachusetts woman’s crew team is looking to defend their Atlantic 10 championship title in the 15th annual A-10 Conference Championship this weekend in Camden, N.J.

In the nine team regatta, the Minutewomen will be going against the likes of Dayton, Duquesne, Fordham, George Washington, La Salle, Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s and Temple.  Of the nine crews rowing the Camden River, UMass, URI, and the Hawks are the three favorites heading into the weekend.

On the weekend, the three races that will be counted for points towards the championship total are the Varsity Eight, Second Varsity Eight and Varsity Four events. As a result, Coach Jim Dietz is putting all available focus on these three events.

“We are going to have a lot of hard racing ahead of us,” Dietz said.  “We have made some big lineup changes to try to get the most speed out of our boats as possible.  Some freshmen rowers have been moved to the first and second boats based on their great progress.”

The team is going for its 14th conference title in 15 years.  Along with history being on their side, Dietz also feels that the skill level coming out of the previous regattas in the season, especially in the previous Knecht Cup, will be huge factors in the team’s overall performance.

“They train extremely hard all season for this kind of moment,” Dietz said.  “Though it’s too early to tell whether or not another title is on the way, we are all very excited about the upcoming events, [and] we feel very confident in our abilities and in our speed.”

One of the biggest challenges of the season so far for the Minutewomen is their lack of time on the water in comparison to previous years.  With the bad weather early on and the sporadic flooding throughout the first part of the season, the crews were unable to get as much field training in as were other schools.  Though their practicing and training show great strides and results, nothing can be measured for sure unless it is on the water.

Another factor that will come into play this weekend for UMass is the competition.  Because there has been so little time early on to really get to see the opposition in action, the overall ability and endurance of the other crews will be tough to gauge.

A huge incentive in this weekend’s events is that, for the first time, the winner of the A-10 Championships will be allowed to go directly to the NCAA Championship in New Jersey this year. This development, though not entirely popular by many colleges in more athletically prestigious divisions, is more fuel to the fire for UMass to compete at the top of their game, as Dietz is very confident in what his crew can do.

“Our biggest strength for this weekend, by far, is the comrade of the team,” Dietz said.  This group is so excited to work together and take home the crown, and that is essential in making a good crew great.”

David Martin can be reached at [email protected].

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  • R

    RowerApr 16, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Holy fact checking, Batman…

    1) The A10 Championship will become an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Championship in 2011 not 2010. A quick Google yields this story:

    2) The 2010 NCAA Championship will be held in Gold River, California, not in New Jersey, the site of the 2009 NCAA Championship. (Also found with a quick Google)