The Georgetown crew team is consistently popular with incoming students. With the success the program experienced in spring 2003, freshmen will undoubtedly be drawn to the Hoya team that was closest to winning a national championship last year.

In May, the Georgetown men’s and women’s varsity lightweight boats recorded their best performances ever at the national championship for crew – the 101st Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regatta.

The men’s lightweight eight finished the grand final with a time of 5:58.7, behind only Harvard (5:54.9) and Columbia (5:56.9), marking the first time the team had ever medaled in the race.

The women’s squad collected honorable mentions, finishing behind Princeton, Radcliffe and Wisconsin.

Additionally, the women’s lightweights will row a second boat this year, opening up more spots on an already-crowded roster.

“It’s a sign of the growth of our program,” women’s crew head coach Jimmy King said of the second boat.

The men’s heavyweights graduated four seniors, but the rising senior class is a large one, men’s crew head coach Tony Johnson said.

“It will still be a challenge to replace those we lost,” Johnson added. “The roles are much clearer on the lightweight side than on the heavyweight side.”

The women’s openweights are, on average, the youngest of the Hoya squads going into the fall season.

“It’s frustrating, though. Last year, there were flashes of what could be,” King said, “but it never developed.”

The varsity boat will rely heavily on sophomores – a trend which may open varsity spots to freshmen who shine early in the season.

Each year, the program gains only a select few athletes who already have rowing experience. Much of the training regimen during the early practices is geared toward having fun and working on the basic principles with novice rowers.

“We have a lot of novice kids,” Johnson said. “The fall season involves letting people find their spot, work on their skill level and improve their technique.”

The coaching staff of the women’s team looks to Oct. 19, the date of the season’s earliest crucial race, at the Head of the Charles in Boston. The men’s teams have their eyes on regattas with Temple and Princeton late in October, two of the Hoyas’ most intense rivals on the water.

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