Despite illnesses, men’s crew places eighth at New England Championships

Coming out of a stellar season on their home waters of the Malden River, the men’s rowing team was back in action Saturday, competing in its first championship race at the annual New England Rowing Championships held on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass.

The New England Rowing Championships are conducted with heats to determine what crews will advance on to the grand or petite finals. The first three teams to finish in each heat continue in the grand final while the remaining teams face each other in the losers’ race.

The first varsity eight earned a spot in the petite final by coming in fourth in their heat, but because some rowers were ill, the boat had to scratch its entry.

The second varsity eight finished first in their petite final with a time of 6:31.434. They unfortunately missed their opportunity to compete in the grand final by a margin of two seconds in their preliminary heat, losing out to Boston College, Williams College and Bates College.

Finally, in a field of six, the third varsity eight finished with a time of 6:49.420. No heat was raced for this entry but the crew managed to upset Williams College, Boston College and Trinity College in their fourth-place victory.

Despite the setback to the first eight, the team still placed eighth in overall points scored at the New England Rowing Championships, a major improvement over its 15th place finish last year. The crews will be back at Lake Quinsigamond next Saturday to compete in their final race of the season at the National Invitational Championships.