Georgetown University's young women's varsity eight crew surprised Ithaca (N.Y) College for one of the Hoyas' four victories in nine races at yesterday's Cherry Blossom Regatta at Thompson's Water Sports Center.
Georgetown's women, with seven freshmen in the varsity shell, jumped to a length lead by stroking 40 times per minute at the outset. The Hoyas then evened off their pace to 34, moved into open water by the midpoint of the 2,000-meter course and won by more than two lengths.
Georgetown clocked 6:55.4 to 7:05.3 for Ithaca and 7:09.9 for Navy, whcih lost to Georgetown last week at Navy.
"I'm speechless. This boat's rowing for the future," said Amy Kuhner, senior captain of the crew which consists, from bow to stern, of jude Muskitt, Claudia Duncan, Kate Dolan, Michelle Fourot, Kuhner, Kerry Duffy, Claire Litchenfels, junior stroke Jo Ann Grainger and coxswain Elizabeth Doyle.
"In the past years, we've only had enough people to row competitively in fours," said Kuhner. "We rowed in eights the past two years, but we didn't do much. I had no idea (this year's crew would be fast). I am suprised and I'm not surprised. I knew they had it in them. It was just a matter of seeing what they could do when they got on the water."
Georgetown's lightweights nipped Ithaca by 1.4 seconds clocking 6:06, with State University of New York-Maritime a distant third. GU won the freshman heavyweight and lightweight contests by two lengths, with Villanova second in the heavyweight race and Ithaca second in the lightweight.
In the men's varsity heavyweight race, Ithaca jumped to a length lead and won by 1 1/2 lengths, with Georgetown overtaking Maritime for second in the final 500 meters. Ithaca also defeated Georgetown by a length in the varisty fours with coxswain, Ithaca being timed in 6:54.4 to 6:58.5 for the Hoyas.
Navy edged Ithaca for the women's novice-eights crown with GU a distant third. Villanova captured the women's novice fours with coxswain in open water ahead of Georgetown.
While the colleges ware able to negotiate the fast Potomac River, very little went right for the high schools at Potomac Boat Club.
After winning the day's opening race, the boys' fourth eights, T.C. Williams scratched the rest of its entries, mainly because three of its shells, including the varsity boys', filled with water while being towed upstream from Alexandria in yesterday morning's choppy water.
Stuart withdrew all but one of its crews, the girls' varsity eight, which never was in competition when one girl lost an oar early in that race.
The 11 races scheduled were combined into a half-dozen competition that took more than six hours to complete.
Fort Hunt won the varsity boy's race, taking a half-length advantage early in the race and extending it ot a full length after 750 meters. The Federals finished the 1,500-meter course 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Washington-Lee with Yorktown a distant third.
Washington-Lee took the girls' varsity title over Yorktown with the W-L lightweights third and the Generals' second eight fourth.
Fort Hunt won boys' second eight honors, W-L won the third eights and its girls won a combined race of third and fourth eights.