BOSTON, Mass. -- The Simmons University crew team opened its spring campaign by placing fourth in both the first and second varsity eight races with host Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bates College and Trinity College (Conn.) this morning on the Charles River in Boston, Mass.
Defending national champion Bates cruised to victory on a sunny morning with a slight tailwind with a time of 6:45.151. MIT followed at 6:53.031, before Trinity (7:04.844) and the Sharks crossed (7:11.119) in third and fourth place, respectively.
Senior coxswain Melissa Morton (Somers, Conn.) directed the Simmons first varsity and remarked, "I was so proud of the 1V. I felt we were very competitive and kept up with some of the strongest shells in the nation and region! It was a great start to the season! Sophomore Samantha Kelsey (Salt Lake City, Utah) rowed from the stroke seat, followed by first year Emily Niemi (Santa Clarita, Calif.), sophomore Steffi Gaehde (Brookline, Mass.), senior Peizhu Pam Qian (Beijing, China/Developing Virtue Secondary Girls School (Calif.)), senior Christine Yu (Plainville, Mass.), junior Hannah Dike (Leominster, Mass.), senior Nicole Lee (North Reading, Mass.) and first year bow Maggie O'Byrne (Boston, Mass.).
The Sharks also took on Trinity in a head-to-head race of fours, clocking in at 9:12.558 to finish behind the Bantam's time of 8:21.553. First year coxswain Ginny Strasser (Cambridge, Mass.) led the Simmons four comprised of first year stroke Chloe Janes (Brookline, Mass.), first years Anna Boyles (Ridgeland, Miss.) and Jess Banafanto (Durham, N.H.) and first year bow Kathryn Armour (Shrewsbury, Mass.). Strasser said of her first spring season race, "The hardest part was the anticipation — but once we were racing, it felt great!"