Although the Potomac froze over for most of the winter, the Georgetown crew teams continued training for the 2003 Spring season. After the Mid Atlantic Erg Sprints, held in Alexandria, Va. on Feb. 1, the squad has shown that it is in good shape to pull its way to a successful season this spring.

An erg is the training machine that rowers use when they cannot go on the water. Also called a rowing machine, it roughly simulates the motion one performs when rowing out on the water. The crew team has several dozen of these machines in its boathouse on the Potomac, and five or six are available at Yates Field House, if you want a visual aid. In an erg sprint, the competitors row, or “erg,” 2,000m, or roughly a mile. Athletes compete in categories against rowers of the same division. The machines record their times, and the fastest time wins the division.

The Georgetown lightweight men’s team placed five rowers in the top 10 of the lightweight division (165 pounds and under). Senior Brian MacLaughlin won the event with a 6:19.3, while senior Andrew Adler finished at fourth with a 6:25.6. Sophomore Blair Berbert pulled in at sixth (6:31.4), and sophomore James O’Gara (6:33.8) and junior Cameron Smith (6:34.1) finished ninth and 10th, respectively.

MacGlaughlin’s time qualified him for the CRASH-B erg sprints in Boston. Several other members of the team will be making the trip to Boston, including Berbert, Adler, O’Gara, sophomore John Rutigliano and Todd Johnson. The CRASH-B erg sprint is the largest indoor rowing event in the world, and the self-proclaimed world indoor rowing championships. Competitors are selected based on times pulled at specific satellite regattas, including the Mid Atlantic Erg Sprints.

The Men’s openweight, or heavyweight, competition saw another Hoya on top, as junior Rob McLane finished up at 6:10.1. Seniors Tyler Holt and Dave Benchener finished fifth and ninth, pulling in at 6:13.2 and 6:21.9, respectively.

In the women’s lightweight division (130 pounds and under), Georgetown placed five rowers in the top 10 positions. Sophomore Jessica Barker took the number two spot at 7:42.0, followed by junior Allison Dryer, who erged 7:51.7 and finished fourth. Senior Kara Ethier, sophomore Bobbi Thomason and senior Renee Cherkezian finished seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively (7:58.1, 8:00.8, 8:05.8).

The women’s openweight division also saw Hoya success, with sophomore Peggy Donnelly coming in third with 7:19.6. Finishing fourth and fifth were sophomore Lauren Hodapp and junior Justine Landegger (7:21.2 and 7:23.4). Senior Jess Maley pulled in at 10th with 7:34.6.

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