The Drake University women’s crew team competed at the Quad Cities Classic in Moline, Ill., last Saturday. The course was a distance of 2 1/2 miles down the Mississippi River. The weather was a warm 85 degrees, drastically different from the cold and rainy Head of the Des Moines Regatta. Despite the heat and the early morning, the team rowed hard all day and pulled in some great times.
In their last race of the day, the Bulldogs’ varsity A eight-boat squad represented the effort the team has put in to improve since the beginning of the season. The women beat out their closest competition, Washington University from St. Louis, by 12 seconds to finish with a time of 12 minutes and 22 seconds. In the same race, Drake’s varsity B boat took fourth place out of seven teams with a time of 13:50.
Earlier in the day, four Bulldog boats competed in the varsity four category, which consisted of 18 teams. Drake’s varsity A boat strongly delivered with a second place finish in 12:51. Close behind them, the varsity B boat claimed third place with a time of 13:05. The varsity C boat took fifth place in 13:23. The varsity D boat, composed of four novice rowers, finished in 10th place in 14:44.
After racing in the varsity four and varsity eight categories, the captains, junior Kat Moore and junior Hilary Dietz, had a feel for the course.
“Something the girls did exceptionally well today was adjusting on the water,” Moore said. “Rowing on the Mississippi, the water differed significantly throughout the course, yet the boats pushed hard and handled the changes well.”
The team entered a single boat in the novice eight category, as well as two boats in the novice four category. The eight-boat team finished sixth out of nine in 13:43. The novice four A team rowed the course in 15:14, and finished in eighth place out of 21 teams. After facing some obstructions in the water on the row to the starting line, the novice four B boat placed 21st with a time of 20:29.
Both the coaches and the captains were in consensus with their desires for the young rowers to stick through the season, and they hope they can experience a few wins along with their learning experiences.
“The girls could still be technically stronger; however, the goal is to continue making gradual improvements,” Head Coach Charlie DiSilvestro said.
“Overall, this was a great race that allowed us to see how we rank among other crews from the Midwest,” Moore added. “It was especially great to compete versus Washington University and prove that we could hold our own.”