The Lafayette crew team had an outstanding performance this past Saturday at the Philadelphia Frostbite Regatta, clinching gold in every category that it entered.
Keeping their winning streak alive after an impressive victory at the Head of the Charles Regatta in October, the women’s varsity four placed first during Saturday’s competition.
This successful boat consisted of sophomores Noni Lorentzen and Ellie Walsh, seniors Lauren Salbinski and Abby Hammel, as well as freshman coxswain Annabelle Witkowski.
Lorentzen said that the team “has high expectations in general” and that they “were really happy with the results.”
Walsh praised Witkowski’s performance.
“She’s never coxed before and she just did really well,” Walsh said.
The women’s varsity eight – which included Lorentzen, Salbinski, Hammel, Walsh, freshman Hannah Bazylevsky, seniors Meghan Roberts and Claire Reid, and freshman coxswain Ryan Comisky – also pulled out a win.
Walsh said that she had fun participating in the eight, as it was a nice change to row with people she does not usually row with.
In preparation for the races, the team often held practices in the cold and in the dark. With a switch to shorter distance races at the Frostbite Regatta, the team focused on speed training over endurance. In addition, Lorentzen explained that competing at a shorter distance allowed the varsity eight to be more competitive than they have been at longer distances.
The men’s team likewise had success over the weekend.
The men’s varsity four won first with a very narrow lead over La Salle. This boat included seniors Henry Grote and Jacob Mina, sophomores Nate Schulz and Aaron Sigmond-Warner, and junior coxswain Kendall Lamm.
“It was a really fun race. Really intense. [I was] kind of like blacking out towards the end,” Sigmond-Warner said. “[Lamm] does a really good job of holding our boat together, she makes it work.”
The women’s second varsity four – consisting of Roberts, Bazylevsky, Reid, Comisky and senior Arden Westphalen – also had a strong performance, placing second.
The weekend’s novice races were canceled due to bad weather and high wind speeds. However, Lorentzen said that the novice team was still a vital part of the weekend, helping to load and unload the trailers and to keep up the team’s spirits.
A goal for the team moving forward is to keep early race leads, specifically in the men’s four.
“We were ahead by a good amount at the beginning and then they were catching up to us the whole time,” Sigmond-Warner said. He added that their coach wants them to work on keeping their speed throughout the race.
Frostbite marks the last regatta for the team until the spring. However, the team will continue with indoor practice to keep in shape and improve on times.