BY MERYL PHAIR ’21 AND EMMA COOPER ’20
The Mount Holyoke Rowing Team traveled to Clemson, South Carolina for their annual training trip over spring break. After a week of training, the team competed in two races against Purdue University and the University of Vermont (UVM) on Saturday, March 16.
“The most fun and rewarding parts of the trip were just being outside on the water after spending the last several months indoors and seeing how all of the hard work we’ve been putting in during winter training and the first few weeks of the spring season are starting to pay off,” said Hannah LeBlanc ’20. “It can be challenging to show up to practice in the basement of Kendall every day when we’re really all on this team to be in boats, so getting out on the water was great and seeing that all our work inside has been worth it made that experience even better.”
LeBlanc also said that the scrimmages against UVM and Purdue were great opportunities for the team to get racing experience before they started off their regattas for the spring season. “We had a lot of fun and it was exciting to see where we stacked up against some pretty fast teams, especially compared to where the team was at when we scrimmaged Purdue over spring break last year,” she said.
LeBlanc explained that the team also raced against UVM last spring season, so both of the teams they competed against were familiar to them. Additionally, the change in location did not affect the team’s performance during the two scrimmages, though the warmer weather was appreciated. “Regardless of where we’re racing, it’s still pretty much the same 2k,” she said. “It was really nice to be able to practice and race in warm weather on a lake with no ice on it, since our river is still pretty cold.”
LeBlanc also spoke to how the spring training trip is a great chance for team members to bond with one another. “Spending so much time together over the week really brings us together as a team every year, and this year in particular I feel like the team is a very tight-knit family and we strengthened a lot of those bonds during our trip,” she said.
After wrapping up at Clemson University, the Lyons are ready for the rest of the season. The team’s next race—which was scheduled for Saturday, March 23 against Smith College and Fairfield University— was canceled. Rowing will next compete at Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Massachusetts against Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Sunday, April 7.