Rowers win six medals at nationals

Queen’s crews go up against the best in the country in St. Catharines

The Queen’s rowing team came back from the Canadian University Rowing Championships with six medals, including two gold.

The women’s lightweight four was victorious in its race, and Simon Gowdy won the lightweight men’s single. In addition to the hardware, Queen’s rower Connie Dayboll was recognized as one of two Canadian University Female Oarswomen of the Year. Simon Gowdy capped off an undefeated season with his win in the lightweight single.

Overall, Queen’s crews took fourth on the women’s side, and the men’s team tied for second. Western won both the men’s and women’s titles.

Despite strong performances, some rowers expressed a sense of lost opportunities.

“I know the [men’s] lightweight four was pretty disappointed [with their third],” said Andrew Rastapkevicius, who competed in the heavyweight eight and pair events.

“We [the pair] were also disappointed with our third.”

The men’s heavyweight eight finished fourth behind Western, University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia.

“We were in third place going into the last 250 metres,” he said. “It was a battle with UBC to the end, but they took it at the line.”

Rastapkevicius said he plans to stay at Queen’s for a fifth year and will continue rowing with Queen’s. He said he’s optimistic about the team’s future.

“We’ve only got two guys graduating [from the heavyweight eight],” he said. “And there are at least two novices that we’re really excited to bring up for next year.”

He plans to do a fifth year and continue rowing with Queen’s.

The men’s lightweight pair also won a bronze medal.

On the women’s side, the lightweight four was Queen’s only winning crew of the day.

Queen’s victory in the lightweight four was the first win for a lightweight crew at this regatta in three years.

Dayboll was also a member of the lightweight double that took silver.

The heavyweight women had less success in terms of medals, but Buzzy McCord, a member of the heavyweight women’s eight, was very happy with their performance.

“We rowed a really good technical race,” she said. “It was great to be in the A final.”

The heavyweight women finished sixth overall.

“We just don’t have the same power as some of the west coast crews,” she said.

Though McCord is graduating this year, she said she believes that the women’s program looks strong for upcoming years.

“We have a solid foundation to build upon. We’ve got a solid group of girls,” she said. “We’re no longer rebuilding.”

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