Facing traditional New England rivals UMass and WPI in a four-team affair on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass., Sat., April 2 in its latest outing, Wesleyan came through with a 4.3-second margin of victory over UMass while defeating WPI by more than 10 seconds in the varsity eight race. Last year in the same setting, the Cardinals lost to the Engineers by nine seconds and edged UMass by 1.7 seconds. The Cardinals' young lineup composed of three freshmen, three sophomores, a junior and two seniors (Sam Hoefle '13, Spencer Hattendorf '12, Elliott Skopin '11, Terrence Word '11, Bryce Hollingsworth '13, Nick Bender '14, Peter Martin '14, Trevor Michelson '13 and cox Peter Chu '14) got the job done. Also on hand for the race was Middlebury, which trailed Wesleyan by 18 seconds.
This same boating allowed Wesleyan to start the dual-race spring season in Winter Park, Fla. by producing a win at the varsity eight level as it has done each of the previous four Florida races. The Cardinals defeated Rollins, Emory, Florida and Embry Riddle Sat., March 12, to get its spring campaign off to a flying start. It was the fifth trip in the last six years for the team for a mid-March event in Florida. The Cardinals rowed past the opposition for a 10-second margin of victory during a great racing day on Lake Maitland. Wesleyan covered the 1950-meter course in a sparkling 6:00.0, nearly equal to last year's 5:58 time, but last season, the victory margin over second-place Florida was four seconds. This time, second-place Rollins was 10.2 seconds behind while Emory trailed by 11.6 seconds, Florida a full 28.8 seconds off the Cardinals' winning pace, and Embry Riddle 49.4 seconds behind.
Wesleyan's two entries in the second-varsity eight race placed first and second among four boats, both defeating Rollins by a tight margin with Florida well back. Wesleyan's novice eight was second behind a very fast Florida entry that outpaced its own varsity by 15 seconds. Wesleyan was first of four in the varsity 4 and second of five in the novice 4, completing the day's races.
Next up for the squad was the annual northern opener vs. Coast Guard, Sat., March 26, only instead of the usual location on Lake Quinsigamond, where the race has been stationed each of the last five years, the teams competed on the Thames River in New London. The teams were originally slated to compete in Middletown but conditions on the Connecticut River were not quite up to racing level.
The varsity eight and second varsity eight got their races in against Coast Guard before conditions in New London became too windy and choppy to continue. The Cardinals defeated the Cadets for the sixth straight year, this time by a 2.6-second margin of victory. Wesleyan's oarsmen were the same as in Florida but guiding the boat vs. Coast Guard was coxswain Grant Nikols '13. Wesleyan second varsity eight also pulled out a win, defeating Coast Guard by one second.
Wesleyan's second varsity eight fell to WPI April 2 by one second, however, the first setback for the junior Cardinals this spring. The third varsity eight conquered WPI by 3.6 seconds and the novice four also was a winner.
Ahead for the Cardinals is their annual excursion to Malden, Mass. for a gathering with Tufts, New Hampshire and Bates Sat., April 9.