MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- The Bears Varsity 8 and Second 8 lost to Wesleyan in the first race of the spring.
The Bears Varsity 8 of Emily Quallen, Elaine Dana, Tasha Bull, Savannah Lyle, Brynna Cooke, Jane Saunders, Judy Hooymans, Maren Balke and coxswain Victoria Mock had a time of 7:33 while Wesleyan finished in 7:04.4.
"Victoria Mock, our spring semester walk on, had the rudder for both the novice and varsity races today. For being so inexperienced, she did a nice job taking the challenge of managing both boat categories and came away with a lot of racing experience to take into the rest of the season," said interim head coach Jodi Hope.
"The rowers raced hard and well, particularly in the second half of the race, despite trailing by open water. They made a shift in ratio around the 1,000 meter mark giving the boat a littler more push per stroke and improving their rhythm. I am pleased with the effort that I saw today and eager to continue working on the speed they produce from the Hull," added Hope.
The Bears Novice 8 of Megan Sackett, Laura Beck, Rebekah Cottle, Laura Bellm, Bull, Lyle, Caitlyn Gever, Karisa Maurer and Mock crossed the finish line in 8:10.5 behind Wesleyan (7:40.1)
The Bears had a powerful, clean start and they raced aggressively. Steering errors caused the boat to make a few dramatic corrections on the course and there was a brief clashing of oars with Wesleyan. The Bears did not waver in their focus but continued to race with power and determination.
"The novices have a first race under their belts now, and I think there were a lot of take-aways from the day. We know that the athletes are willing to fight hard all the way down the course and be competitive. For some, this week was their first on the water, and they were able to make huge strides to be in a place where they were able to race at this level. We have some work to do to clean up a little blade work, create a more relaxed rhythm, and seek a direct course, but the foundational pieces are set. With a focused attention to the details, we can look ahead to more speed gains in the coming weeks," said Hope.