The Georgetown women's rowing coach, John Devlin, didn't pay too much attention to his varsity eight's effort in the Cherry Blossom Regatta yesterday. He was too busy rooting for the junior varsity.
The varsity was well downriver approaching the Thompson's Water Sports Center finish line when the Hoya JV and the Marietta (Ohio) varsity were waging the real battle. The Hoya JV, down by more than a length in the first half of the 2,000-meter course, pulled about even with 750 meters left and battled head to head with Marietta before taking second by a deck, 20 seconds behind the varsity, which clocked 6:43.
"I know what the varsity can do -- they're just stompong on people, but I don't know about the JVs," said Devlin, whose top crew gained open water within 500 meters. "I was rooting for the JV because they deserve it. I knew pretty well the varsity would win . . . They'll pretty much beat the daylights out of most Dad Vail crews."
With the novice eight winning handily, it was the second straight sweep by the top three eights for Georgetown women. iThe varsity, with a freshman and five sophomores rowing, beat Ithaca (N.y.) by 18 seconds last week.
The Hoya men had less success, winning the varsity heavyweight fours and freshman lightweight eights among six events.
In the varsity heavyweight eights, GU jumped to a small early lead, starting at 41 strokes per minute and settling to 33-34. But Marietta, which jumped off at 39 and settled to 31-32, pretty much had had things under control after 750 meters and won by two lengths in 6:13.
Later, La Saile took three races from George Washington, with the GW varsity eight losing in heartbreaking fashion. GW trailed in the early going, but caught up and battled the Explorers even from just before the midpoint of the race. The Colonials were about even, perhaps a seat or two behind, when a portside crab in the final 10 strokes relegated them to a one-length loss.
The Annapolis, Navy had a big day on the Severn, winning the William M. Smith Trophy with a 10-second triumph over Princeton. The Mids swept the three remaining heavyweight eight races and the varsity lightweight eights battle, capturing seven of 10 total races.
In high school competition at Middletown, Del., T. C. Williams' lightweight eight was the only Alexandria crew to triumph among five eights and two fours events. The Williams varisty battled even with Holy Spirit of Absecon, N.J., for three-quarters of the mile course before losing by six seats. Host St. Andrew's was third and Fort Hunt fourth.