Rowers bring home gold at Trent regatta

Queen’s wins four gold and five silver medals in Peterborough

The lightweight men’s eight rowing team pulls for gold in Peterborough at the Trent Regatta on Oct. 3. From right to left, coxswain Amy De Merlis, Graham Pupo, Jamie Christian, Kyle Mullen, Alex Condello, Taylor Overing, Chris Purdon and Rob Ballard.
The lightweight men’s eight rowing team pulls for gold in Peterborough at the Trent Regatta on Oct. 3. From right to left, coxswain Amy De Merlis, Graham Pupo, Jamie Christian, Kyle Mullen, Alex Condello, Taylor Overing, Chris Purdon and Rob Ballard.
Credit: 
Supplied photo by Ryan Meyers

The reigning OUA champion men’s and women’s rowing teams continued their high-flying season Oct. 3 with a strong showing at the Head of Trent Regatta in Peterborough. The team amassed four gold medals and five silver medals with 16 of their 21 boats finishing at least fifth in their races.

The lightweight men made excellent time over the weekend as Morgan Jarvis won the single’s event, Jamie Christian and Alex Condello won the doubles’ event and Taylor Overing, Chris Purdon, Rob Ballard, Ryan Meyers and cox Amy de Merlis brought home top honours in the coxed four race.

On the women’s side, Sarah Marshall earned gold in the lightweight women’s single

category, placing ahead of boats

from Brock University and McMaster University. The heavyweight women settled for second place twice as they narrowly lost to the Western Mustangs in the coxed four and eight boats.

Christian said the lightweight men performed well, especially with a younger team.

“We had a good showing for sure,” he said. “[We] won the single, double and four. The eight was a little disappointing, but it’s early in the season and we’re a young crew.”

The boats followed a head-race format, meaning crews started in single-file 30 seconds apart along a winding course more than twice as long as normal OUA regattas. Christian said the team had to change adjust their training, as a result.

“We did longer pieces at slightly lower rates compared to shorter pieces,” he said. “For example, we were doing 10 to 20-minute pieces last week, compared to normal five to six-minute pieces.”

Head coach John Armitage said he was pleased with his team’s efforts in the head-race format.

“The one thing about a head race is you can’t control the speed of the other crews, you can only focus on what you’re doing in your own boat,” Armitage said. “I think our crews generally came out of this regatta feeling satisfied on how well they rowed technically and with their level of effort.”

Armitage said the last week’s results were telling, but it’s early in the season.

“The Head of the Trent is an early indication of how fast or how slow a crew is,” he said. “If you do really well at this regatta you shouldn’t get overly excited because your competitors may have had some issues over the race. Alternatively, if you do real poorly, you shouldn’t get too upset as there could have been an issue in your boat.”

The Gaels are under intense pressure as the defending champions, Armitage said.

“We’re a young team and to succeed at the higher level that we did last year is asking a lot,” he said. “All we can do is go out and do the very best we can. We can’t control the speed of our competitors. We’re just going to focus on what we’re doing in our own boat and at the end of the race look up and see what the results are.”

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