By Christine Bell Special to The Hoya

Charles Nailen/The Hoya The Georgetown heavyweight crew team defeated rival Navy this weekend at the Head of the Potomac. Georgetown men’s heavyweight crew kicked off their fall season this weekend competing in the 21st annual Head of the Potomac competition and defeated one of their biggest rivals in the process.

The Hoyas, led by senior captain Nick Stollenmeyer, turned in an impressive performance throughout their races asthey defeated the Naval Academy for the first time in five years in the Open Eight competition. This was a doubly impressive feat as Navy has been training twice as long for the fall season than the Hoyas, shedding light on the skill and strength of the 2001 men’s crew squad.

Although the crew team’s official season is in the spring, the team competes in several fall races, including the Potomac and the Head of the Charles races. The team regards the fall as a crucial building period for fitness, rowing technique and mental toughness strategies.

“In order to maintain success on the water, each rower has to be able to work their body until the point of exhaustion, and still hold precise movement,” head coxswain Alex Taft said.

The team trains six days a week, a hard work ethic to which the team credits their early success in Saturday’s race.

The Hoyas gave their best performance in their hardest race, the Open Eight, which lined them up against fierce opponents such as the Naval Academy and the Potomac Boat Club, which boasts National Team rowers.

The Hoyas got off to an explosive start, rowing third behind Potomac and Navy. Georgetown glided steadily for the first 2,000 meters, gradually gaining momentum as they dodged the Navy’s backwash and overtook them on the second and third turns. The men’s squad continued battling until the end, placing second overall in the race, four seconds behind top-ranked Potomac.

“It was the best first race that I ever remember,” senior captain Stollenmeyer said after the event.

This is not the first success the men’s crew team has seen however, as the varsity squad won the Avaya Collegiate Championship last May.

“To have the power and skill shown on the water this past Saturday says a lot for the success of the spring season, and gets the whole team excited for great spring racing,” junior rower Spencer Scheffy said.

The crew team is now preparing for their next competition, Oct. 21 at the Head of the Charles.

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