BY GIGI PICARD ’22
The Mount Holyoke rowing team opened the 2019-2020 season at the Green Mountain Headrace in Vermont on Sunday, Sept. 29 with eight of the Lyons racing in doubles competition.
The pairs were: Hannah LeBlanc ’20 and Elizabeth Hazen ’20, Johanna Van Fleet ’23 and Shoshi Daniels ’22, Sarah Lancaster ’22 and Audrey Shannon ’22 and Piper Kilgore ’23 and Sabina Morris ’21. The regatta featured men’s and women’s singles and doubles with age groups ranging from under nineteen years old to “master” rowers level.
Daniels said the regatta consisted of small sculling boats. Sculling refers to the boat being propelled by one or more rowers, each of whom operates two oars. All four of Mount Holyoke’s competing boats finished in the top 10 of the women’s collegiate doubles competing in the race.
Hazen and LeBlanc finished strong with a second place time of 22:14.5. Both seniors, the Green Mountain Headrace marked the beginning of their final season of Lyons rowing.
“In the last few years, I’ve seen a big step-up in the overall speed of the team, so I’m really excited about what we’re going to be able to accomplish this year, and about the trajectory I hope we continue on after I graduate,” LeBlanc said. “I can see in practice every day that we’re going to be capable of some really exciting things this year.”
Daniels and Van Fleet came in eighth with a time of 24:25. “Going into my first collegiate competition I was both nervous and very excited,”
Van Fleet said. “Collegiate rowing has been a huge learning curve for me, so I did not know what to expect going into Green Mountain. It ended up being a really great experience, mostly thanks to my teammates and coaches supporting me through it.” Van Fleet added that she had a great time racing with Daniels, her doubles partner.
“Props to Jo, really — she was very consistent throughout the piece,” Van Fleet said.
Lancaster and Shannon finished behind them at in 25:33. Kilgore ’23 and Morris ’21, rounded out the top 10 in 26:14.4.
Lyons rowing will be back in the water for their next competition this coming weekend at the Tail of the Housatonic on Saturday, Oct. 5, and for the Head of the Riverfront on Sunday, Oct. 6, both taking place in Connecticut. “I’m excited to see what we can do,” Daniels said.