NORTH ANDOVER, MA – In the second season of women's crew at Merrimack, the Warriors competed in three regattas against division I, II and III teams from around the country including the biggest regatta in the world, the Head of the Charles in October.
"Our level of competition will be dramatically higher this spring than it was last year," said head coach Tim Desrosiers. "I think I speak for the whole team and coaching staff when I say we are very excited and ready to embrace the challenge."
The highlight of the 2012 season for the Merrimack women's crew was their final regatta of the season, the 48th Head of the Charles Regatta. This was the first time in program history that the Warriors participated in the world's biggest and best Regatta.
The Warriors finished in a time of 19:02.69 which was good for 23rd place out of a field of 34 teams. The Warriors defeated teams from the University of Connecticut, Iona College and Bryant University on their way to their 23rd place finish.
The Merrimack 8+ boat consisted of coxswain Cary Bannan (Hingham, Mass.), Haley Pare (Coventry, RI), Kaylee McKenna (Georgetown, Texas), Aubrey O'Neill (Pawcatuck, CT), Lydia Staschke (Guilford, CT), Jessie Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.), Stephanie Beaudry (Lowell, Mass.), Stephanie Giordano (Leominster, Mass.) and Tamara O'Donnell (Billerica, Mass.). Eight of the nine participants for Merrimack are underclassmen as O'Donnell was the lone senior who competed in the event.
"I was very happy with our performance at the Head of the Charles," stated Desrosiers. "The girls put up a good race in a tough field. While our fall results are not as important as the spring results, it was nice to be competitive in our first shot at such a major race."
Racing in their first-ever event as a varsity team, the Merrimack crew collected a 7th place and 14th place finish in a field of 17 boats in the 4+ race at the Textile River Regatta held in Lowell, Mass. In varsity 8+ action, the Warriors picked up an 11th place finish out of 18 teams.
In their second regatta of the season, the Merrimack crew impressed by taking home a bronze medal at the New Hampshire Championships. The Warriors entered two boats into the 4+ event with their "B" boat cruising to a 3rd place finish while their "A" boat finished right behind in 4th place.
Merrimack women's crew finished off strong and will look to return next spring much improved as they will graduate only one senior. With a strong recruiting class and good winter of offseason training, the Warriors are poised to makes major strides heading into 2013.
"Our big focus at the end of the fall was preparing for the long winter," said Desrosiers. "Our fitness level when we come back for break will play a major role in our spring success so the past few weeks have been all about mentally preparing for the winter season where the girls will train mostly on their own."
This is the first in a series of recaps summarizing a successful fall season at Merrimack.
November 29: Women's Crew
November 30: Women's Cross Country
December 3: Women's Golf
December 4: Men's Cross Country
December 5: Volleyball
December 6: Women's Soccer
December 7: Football
December 10: Field Hockey
December 11: Men's Soccer