Men’s and women’s fall rowing season comes to a close

By Carley Kulenkamp

The Illinois rowing club celebrated a closing to its fall season Saturday in Indianapolis at the Head of the Eagle regatta.

The Illini had many boats partaking in the regatta, filling slots from the Men’s Collegiate 8+ A division to Women’s Collegiate 2 division. Competition at the race was tough, including many Divisions I and club teams.

Many of Illinois’ boats had similar finishes at the race. The Men’s and Women’s Collegiate 8+ A crews, Men’s and Women’s Novice 8+ A crews and the B crew for Men’s Collegiate 2’s all finished in seventh place in their respected heats. The number of competitors ranged from seven to nine crews.

According to the women’s vice-president Elizabeth Diamond, her crew for the 8+ division came out and competed well, despite facing formidable competition — they faced teams such as Louisville which is funded by its university. Not only was the crew battling the other crews, but the weather was co-operating, and it was the Illini’s first time on this course.

“We now know what we need to work on to be able to compete with these types of teams,” Diamond said.

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The Women’s 4+ crew came in at eighth place out of eleven teams Saturday. Its race showed to be more exciting than most when the Louisville crew impeded on the Illini, colliding the two boats. Louisville impeded upon multiple boats in the race despite being recognized as as a prominent team in the racing community.

Katarina Raines, the women’s president, said she was proud of how the crew responded to competing against Division I teams. The race course proved to be challenging as it had multiple turns that Raines said the crew’s coxswain did a great job of navigating.

Besides these two events, the women also competed in the Collegiate Novice 4+ A division and the Collegiate 2 division. The novice crew placed sixth out of eight teams and the 2’s division placed first out of one team.

The men’s crews had a decent race in Indianapolis. The Men’s Collegiate 8+B crew placed ninth out of 12 teams, the novice 4+ A crew placed fifth out of 13, the novice 4+ B crew placed fourth out of six crews, the Collegiate 2 A crew placed sixth out of seven crews, novice 8+ B crew placed eighth out of 13 crews and the collegiate 4 +A crew placed the race 11 out of 12.

Heading into winter training, the teams are gearing up for the second half of the season and possible the Grand Finals, depending on how well they perform. Diamond and Raines both said that in order to make it that far, the women’s team needs to focus on improving its strength and power, and the men’s team needs to focus more so on consistent performance.

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