A successful season for the Jumbos rolled on over the weekend when they took to the road for the first time in the spring season. The team took their annual trip to Lake Quinsigamond near Worcester, Mass., to race against Skidmore and host Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Tufts put three boats on the water and won all three races on the day. The third varsity eight for the Jumbos remained undefeated in the spring with their victory.
The regatta began with the first varsity eight boats from all three schools. Tufts boated senior coxswain James Grant, sophomore stroke Rick Boer and senior bow James Miller, as well as senior co-captain Ryan Bell, senior Nick Hartman, senior Jordan Bacher, junior co-captain Mats Edwards, sophomore Harris Hardiman-Mostow and first-year Alex Williams.
The Jumbos finished with a comfortable lead over the Engineers, and they blew the third-place Thoroughbreds out of the water. Tufts finished the 2k course in 6:13.0, with WPI and Skidmore at 6:21.72 and 6:55.82, respectively.
Junior co-captain Paul Gelhaus did not race on Sunday; instead, he watched from the shore. The captain provided an outsider’s perspective on the first varsity eight’s performance.
“I think everyone was a bit apprehensive at first, knowing it was going to be a tough day of races,” Gelhaus said. “Once the [first varsity eight] put down a good time against WPI and Skidmore, people got really excited. The parents in attendance were ecstatic, and the rowers were in good spirits.”
Hartman, who occupied the fourth spot on the boat for the Jumbos, described some of the keys to the victory.
“One thing that we have been working on is being more aggressive with our rate throughout the race,” Hartman said. “We were consistently two strokes per minute higher than usual, and we had the fitness to sustain it, which really helped us get ahead.”
The tone-setting performance by the first boat was only the beginning for the Jumbos’ success on the day. The second varsity eight followed with a solid performance of their own, defeating WPI in their race by just under five seconds, 6:31.8 to 6:36.57.
The second varsity eight lined up with first-year coxswain Tara Curran, junior stroke Matt Agurcia and first-year bow Henry Ross. Tufts filled out the rest of the boat with seniors Alec Whipple, Rich Gilland, Samson Braun and Ted Midthun, junior Mitch Koganski and first-year Malcolm Zuckerman.
The Jumbos did not boat a varsity four, so the race for that category was between WPI and Skidmore. The varsity four for the Engineers defeated the Thoroughbreds 7:45.5 to 7:51.13. It was Skidmore’s final race of the day.
The action closed out with the third varsity eight competition, where the Jumbos looked to stay undefeated on the season. In this part of the competition, Tufts defeated WPI for the third time and by the largest margin of nine seconds. The final times were 6:37.5 for Tufts and 6:46.68 for WPI.
While the third varsity eight has remained undefeated, the personnel has gotten shuffled around for each regatta, a common occurrence in Tufts crew lineups. For the Baker Cup, the third varsity eight for the Jumbos consisted of first-year coxswain Nilay Maity, junior stroke Peter Malinovsky and first-year bow Aidan Bauer. Senior Tamas Takata, sophomore Jack Fraser, first-year Ethan Donnelly, first-year Matias Facciuto, first-year Akash Maney and first-year David Gantt rounded out the boat.
Gelhaus commented on the team’s overall success at the Baker Cup on Sunday and the challenges the team has faced at that regatta over the years.
“The Baker Cup has always been a tough one for us,” Gelhaus said. “WPI has always been really good. For some of the older guys on the team, coming back to this race, but winning this year, was something really special. As we get closer to our championship races, [winning on Sunday] raises the morale and sets the tone for what we’re gonna do going forward.”
Hartman shared his teammate’s sentiment.
“It was very encouraging to see all of our boats win against a team that has traditionally beaten us,” Hartman said. “It shows that we have something special this year in all the boats and that we have the potential to be very successful in the championship races.”
While championship season is fast-approaching, Tufts will first travel back to Lake Quinsigamond for a race hosted by Holy Cross, where the rowers will face off against the hosts as well as NESCAC rivals Bates and Williams.