North Andover, Mass. - The Merrimack College women's crew team hosted Bryant University on the Merrimack River in Lawrence, MA on Saturday afternoon. The event marked the first home regatta and first championship segment race in the programs history. The Merrimack women defended their home river taking first in two of the three races.
"I am very proud of what the girls were able to do today," said head coach Tim Desrosiers. "I told them before the races that luck would have nothing to with their results. They have been preparing since September for this race and they were really able to draw on all of the hard work and the miles that they have put in since the fall."
In the first race of the day, the women's 8+ event, Bryant jumped out to an early lead but the Merrimack team of Jessie Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.), Jane Pavalkis (Rockland, ME), Kelsey Woods (Mashpee, Mass.), Kaylee McKenna (Georgetown, Texas), Julia Barry (West Boylston, Mass.),Jenna Zechner (Billerica, Mass.), Hannah Anderson (Tewksbury, Mass.) , Tamara O'Donnell (Billerica, Mass.) and coxswain Emily Moldoff (Salem, NH) fought back to take the lead. With 500 meters to go the Warriors were leading by a length. The Bulldogs showed a strong sprint at the end of the race but the Warriors were able to hold on to the victory in a time of 7:52.18.
In the women's 4+ race, Bryant was able to jump out to an early lead once again but the Warriors were unable to come back for the victory, falling in a close race. Participating in the 4+ race was Eichel, Pavalkis, Barry, McKenna and Moldoff.
The final race of the day was another women's 8+ race. Bryant jumped out to their largest lead of the day ahead by two boat-lengths of open water over Merrimack. But Merrimack was able to surge ahead in the final 500 meters to earn the victory by over a nine second margin.
The Warriors will return to the water Saturday April 14 for the Clark Regatta.