UMass rowing closes out fall season

By Cameron McDonough

The Massachusetts rowing team sent its novice rowers to finish off the fall campaign last weekend at the Foot of the Charles Regatta in Boston and finished in the middle of the pack.

The Minutewomen entered four boats into the Novice 8+ race at the event. The fastest of the boats finished in eighth place out of 23 and was led by coxswain Isabel Feldman. She led her team to an impressive 14:49.5 finishing time.

The other three novice boats didn’t fare quite as well, finishing 21st, 22nd and 23rd. However, UMass coach Jim Dietz said that with all novice boats in this event the positives certainly outweighed the negatives.

The lightweight boat grabbed the 21st spot with a time of 17:17.7 and was led by coxswain Chastity Beach. The other two boats finished close behind with times of 17:18.0 and 18:21.3, respectively.

UMass was hoping for a strong finish to close out the fall season and it was very pleased with the eighth place finish led by Feldman, who is only a freshman Coxswain but led her team to an impressive finish.

The Foot of the Charles Regatta was the last race action UMass will see until March when it will participate in the Yankee C event.

Although the team will not be racing for wins anytime soon, the winter season brings a lot of intense training as the Minutewomen will get ready for Atlantic 10 play and the main part of their season in the spring.

UMass will head to Deland, Fla. as part of its winter training for an all day training event on Jan. 5.

The Minutewomen have had a successful fall campaign considering the fact that they lost 11 seniors from last year’s team, which tied for first place in the A-10 rowing championships but lost in a tiebreaker to Saint Joseph’s.

This year, UMass returned 25 rowers from last year led by captains Kendall Bennett and Emily Boucher. Boucher represented the USA in the U-23 World Rowing Championships for a second year in a row this year, finishing in fourth place in the finals of the Lightweight Single Sculls event.

Having a championed veteran like Boucher certainly gives the Minutewomen a distinct advantage both on the water and off it. As team captain, along with Bennett, she has spent time with the young team in order to get them ready for future competition.

Those members of the team that represent the team’s future competed in this weekend’s event and it certainly seems that the underclassmen are ready to contribute to the team both this year and in the future.

The Minutewomen have won 13 of the last 15 A-10 rowing championships and the team has proven this fall season that a 14th title could be right around the corner.

Cameron McDonough can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_McDonough.