This past weekend, thousands of rowers and fans alike gathered along the banks of the Charles River to spectate what has come to be among one of the largest regattas in the world—The Head of the Charles.
The race, a 6000 meter time-trial haul through the now-chilling waters of the Charles, welcomes the best crew teams in the world for a two day competition every October, ultimately attracting over 11,000 athletes and 400,000 spectators.
Boston College Men’s Rowing is no stranger to the event, despite its status as a club team, and in recent years has consistently fielded at least two boats. This year, they had just that, two crews competing, with the Varsity 8 racing in the Collegiate 8 event and the Varsity 4 racing in the Collegiate 4 group. The 8 finished 12th out of 41 with a time of 15:53.227, while the 4 finished 10th out of 46 at 17:53.899.
The Varsity 4 exceeded expectations, particularly considering the amount of time the group has had to row together. The crew consists of a diverse lineup, with members from each class year (Michael Cadigan ’19, Nathan Whitaker ’18, Brian Brooks ’17, Matt Beckwith ’16).
In the 8, (JP Scaduto ’17, Zachary Muzdakis ’16, Chris Peng ’16, Matt Piekarski ’17, Ben Oleniczak ’16, Ed Twohig ’17, Nick Dunn ’16, Evan Gatti ’16) the results, while very impressive, were not quite what the team had hoped for after last year’s 8th place finish in the same event—the group's best performance to date.
Senior rower and team captain Chris Peng had this to say: “As for our standard, we wanted to go top ten in the Varsity 8, but we came up a little short with headwind conditions...Overall it was a great first race of the season. We are looking to build off of our result and take it up a notch come springtime, which is our championship season.”
With the V8’s sub-15 minute finishes two years in a row, however, it becomes clear that the group has been taking it upon itself to raise the standards of the club in an effort to continue pushing boundaries.
This is further represented by the rowers who have recently graduated from the club program to pursue placement among the national team. Last year, Keane Johnson ’13 represented the United States in the Toronto Pan-American Games, while Kevin Bielawski ’15 rowed for the red, white and blue at the U23 World Rowing Championship in Bulgaria.
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