This weekend, the Georgetown rowing team will close out its fall schedule at the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta in Philadelphia, Pa., on Saturday and the Princeton Chase in Princeton, N.J., the day after.
The team seeks to build off a promising showing at the renowned Head of the Charles last Sunday. At the regatta, the lightweight four boat earned a fourth-place finish with a time of 18:20.019 and a bronze medal, and the heavyweight eight squad paced well with the competition before a mid-race collision derailed its chances at medaling.
“The crash was deflating to our guys more than anything,” Head Coach Luke Agnini said. “We were facing 25-mph headwinds, so we couldn’t make that time back [after the collision]. Plus, there were a lot of new guys in that boat too, so it was a fragile lineup. We even had three rowers on antibiotics.”
Despite the unexpected conditions, Agnini exuded confidence in his squad.
“[Before the collision], we were at speed with who we wanted to be at speed with,” Agini said.
Senior captain Tom Carroll shared similar sentiments.
“There’s a lot of momentum heading into this weekend, and things are definitely moving in the right direction,” Carroll said.
Both boats have to prepare for back-to-back races on a short week, and Agnini stressed the importance of patience and diligence with a group that is young and still coming together as a unit.
“We’re really trying to slow the rowing down and force change with guys, which is tough,” he said when asked about his current focus in practice on the water. “You want to do well in the fall races, but they aren’t a priority — the biggest thing for us right now is health and continuity. A lot of the guys didn’t have much rowing experience in high school, and we’ve been trying to establish a uniform style and rhythm that they can all follow together.”
Though Agini anticipates poor weather conditions and a light roster, he sees the upcoming races as a chance for other rowers to step up and make a name for themselves.
“This year will be one of opportunity for people on the team to grow and prove themselves,” Agnini said.
Sophomore rower Francesco Ambrosio echoed Agnini’s optimism regarding the squad’s chances this weekend.
“We’re definitely working in the right direction to accomplish our goals by the end of the season,” Ambrosio said.
The team as a whole has embraced Agnini’s positive, patient approach thus far in the season.
“My goal is to have us peaking by the spring, and that’s why we’re taking our time,” Agnini said. “It’s not so much rowing, but talking and communicating while on the water. At the end of the day, no matter how fit they are, they have to learn how to move the boat together.”
After their races this weekend, the Hoyas begin their winter training in preparation for their spring season, which is scheduled to start in late February.
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