The Mercyhurst women’s rowing team traveled to Camden, N.J. on March 29 for their first tournament of the season. They competed in the DII/DIII Women’s events at the Murphy Cup.
This spring season is the rowing team’s championship season, when they get a chance to qualify and possibly participate in the NCAA championships.
Prior to the start of spring season at the Murphy Cup, the rowing team scrimmaged against Skidmore College in Oak Ridge, Tenn. At the scrimmage, the Lakers had two varsity women’s fours and a women’s novice eight competing.
“For the scrimmage, we did a few shorter pieces, not the full 2,000 meters that we typically race. The pieces helped us get some experience and work under a more stressful situation to see how we would react,” senior Kate Moran said.
“Other than that, all we’ve been doing is putting in long, grueling hours on the ergs and in the weight room to gain as much speed as we can individually, to hopefully transfer it into a boat with everybody,” added Moran.
In the race to go to the finals at the Murphy Cup, the Lakers took first place in their heat by almost half a minute. In the final race, the women held their competitors to finish first in their heat and receive gold. This included beating their regional rivals Philadelphia University.
“Being able to compete well at the Murphy Cup and to take Philly U. early in the season was a good confidence booster for everybody,” Moran said.
“However, we know it is just the beginning of the season and a lot could change from now until the NCAA championship rolls around. We’re just going to keep at training as hard as possible on and off the water. There’s a lot of potential with our team and if we slack off now, because we won a race, we won’t see the top of our abilities.
“We look forward to every race because it allows us to have fun racing other teams and putting our abilities to the test. We are also really looking forward to starting water practice. Presque Isle is finally opened from the ice and row-able,” Moran said.
According to the latest CRCA/USRowing Coaches Poll, the women’s team has remained seventh in the country with 62 points, just behind University of Central Oklahoma with 72 points.
“We’re all very supportive of each other, encouraging, wanting everyone to do their best. But not a single one of us is going to let the next person beat them. We become very competitive within the team and it drives each other to do better and typically if someone sees one person ‘slacking off’, that person is called out on it,” Moran said.
The Lakers will travel to Mercer, N.J. along with the men’s rowing team to compete in the Knetch Cup Regatta on Saturday, April 12.