On Oct. 20-21, Mercyhurst men and women’s rowing teams headed to Boston for the annual Head of the Charles Regatta. The Head of the Charles is the biggest rowing race in the world, and top schools and athletes come to compete each year.
The Mercyhurst women’s collegiate eight boat placed eighth and the men’s collegiate eight placed 13th.
“They were up against teams from all over the country and showed that they’re comfortable in tough competition,” said Cian Noone, assistant coach for men and women’s rowing at Mercyhurst. To prepare for such a big race, the teams have been putting a lot of miles in both on the water and on the rowing machines.
The women finished one ahead of their placement last year. “We were really happy with it and thought it was a good race,” women’s rower Ellen Reifenberger said.
The Mercyhurst men’s 13th-place finish unfortunately did not land them in the top half of their race to requalify them for next year. “This won’t faze them, though, as they’re a strong team that bounce back really quickly,” Noone said.
The Head of the Charles was definitely a highlight of the season, not only for the team, but for individual rowers as well. “It was an incredible experience. This year was my first year racing at Head of the Charles. Head of the Charles is just an experience that every rower wants to have at least once, and I’m happy I got that experience,” women’s coxswain Madison Parry said.
To round out the fall season, Mercyhurst will be competing in the Turn of the Bear Regatta in Ithaca, New York, on Nov. 3. After Nov. 3, the team will focus on winter indoor conditioning to get prepared for being out on the water in the spring.