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Women’s Varsity Eight Finishes First at Newport Chase


Photo by Evan Mauno

Varsity eight (left to right): Coxswain Sarah Dresser, Kelsey Davis, Sydney Abad, Maria Guardiola, Sam McFeely, Alexandra Savage, Rikki Oden, Ariana Gastelum and Cecilia Guerrero


By Rikki Oden

Varsity Rower

Nothing feels as good as winning, and it felt especially good to finish up this semester with a win.

At first, I couldn’t remember this race happening last year, but that’s because I was recovering from the flu so I didn’t race.

This course isn’t unfamiliar to us since we race in Newport in the spring, but those are 2k races instead of the typical 5k races that happen in the fall. This race, the Newport Chase, was actually 5,150 meters, making it our longest race for the whole year.

As usual, the race felt like an eternity–yet was over in a flash. The rhythm and energy of the boat was solid throughout the whole race; I’m proud of that. We really came together as a team to win this. We took the things we’d worked on in practice—the many drills and the relentless erg pieces—and brought them into this race.

We ended up winning by a mere two seconds, and those seconds can definitely be attributed to our coxswain, Sarah. She steered the best course possible and managed to pass another boat on the inside of a turn. Watching that boat fall back midway through the race helped me focus in and really pull hard.

Overall, I enjoyed this race and winning made it even better. Now that we finished fall 5ks with a victory I’m definitely ready for 2k season.