From The Coaches' Launch

Navy Day proved once again to be a great season opening regatta. It is one of the few fall races in which athletes can double up in more than one event. Just about every Penn women's rower participated in two races.

The day started with the College Fours event. The winning crew from our weekly “buoy row” (a timed 5 mile row) won the first race of the year for Penn. Shortly after that, our Novice eight won their event by a margin the British would refer to as “easily”. A new entry for Penn was the Club Double. Freshman Iska Hain and senior Beka Strock teamed up for the first time and survived oceanic waves the first half of the race to finish as the first college double! The day concluded with the College Eights. I’d like to say we prevailed, but Navy beat us by 0.9 seconds. Needless to say, as we prepare for the Head of the Charles, everyone is focused on what small thing they can do to make their crew at least one second faster over the distance!

One highlight that deserves special mention is the success of our freshmen at Navy Day. For the second year in a row, they won their event handily. A pattern seems to be developing now that we incorporate incoming experienced rowers and recruits into the varsity program from day one. The freshmen are challenged every day to improve and compete with our returning varsity athletes. I can’t think of a better environment in which to succeed than training daily with people who are better than you. My hat’s off to the upperclassmen who are such great role models for this year’s group of freshmen!

Look for more exciting results after this weekend’s Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston.

Barb K. Grudt, C'84

Head Coach, Women's Rowing