Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass rowing overcomes harsh conditions again at Knecht Cup

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(Daily Collegian File Photo)

(Daily Collegian File Photo)

On yet another weekend where weather forced a change in schedule, the Massachusetts rowing team adjusted and powered through.

The Varsity 4 and the Second Varsity 8 boats both claimed gold medals and the Frosh/Novice 4 boat earned bronze to complete a strong weekend of racing for the Minutewomen at the Knecht Cup in West Windsor Township, New Jersey.

“We had two great days of racing,” coach Jim Dietz said. “When we got there it was cold, the wind was blowing like crazy but we raced hard through the weekend.”

In the Varsity 4 Third Final, UMass finished with a time of 7:43.88 to win the team’s first gold. Minutes later, the Second Varsity 8 repeated with a win in 6:47.17.

The Frosh/Novice 4 boat earned a spot in the Grand Final and took home bronze after finishing in 8:00.14. The Minutewomen also qualified for the Varsity 8 Grand Final and finished in fifth place with a time of 6:55.21.

UMass had a solid showing in the Third Varsity 8 as well, placing fourth in Heat 1 in 7:31.71. The Minutewomen had two boats in the singles, finishing third and fourth respectively.

They persevered despite winds that got progressively stronger as the day went on.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Dietz said regarding the wind. “It was constantly swinging around. One minute it was a tail-wind, the next it was a cross-wind, so it was hard to get consistent races with that in effect. You don’t see that kind of weather pattern that often.”

To get to the Grand Finals, the Frosh/Novice 4 and the Varsity 8 both placed first in the semi-finals. The Frosh/Novice boat finished in 8:32.82, and the Varsity 8 crossed in 6:54.30. In the Second Varsity 8 Semi-final, UMass finished second with a time of 6:55.30 to claim a spot in the finals.

The last finals the Minutewomen competed in on Sunday was the Varsity Pairs, where UMass had three boats that finished in second, fifth and sixth.

Saturday, conditions weren’t ideal for racing, but the Minutewomen proved they could handle anything thrown their way.

In the Varsity 4 UMass had two boats in separate heats placing second and third in times of 8:03.60, and 8:20.55. Shortly following, the Minutewomen A boat finished fifth in the Varsity 4 semifinals in 8:47.13

UMass continued its strong opening day with first place finishes in their respective heats for the Varsity 8, Fresh/Novice 4 and the Second Varsity Eight.

Not to be outdone, the Minutewomen had three boats in the opening Varsity Pairs with impressive finishes of second, third and first.

“Overall I thought it was a great weekend. It was cold, it was windy, but we raced very well,” Dietz said

A week from today UMass will head to Boston to compete in a quad-regatta against Boston University, Dartmouth and Northeastern.

“We’re looking forward to next weekend in Boston and I’m sure that’ll be some nice racing as well,” Dietz said.

Ryan Ames can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @_RyanAmes.

About the Writer
Ryan Ames, Assistant Sports Editor
Minutemen travel to Schenectady for a rematch with Union to close out first half of the season.
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