Queen’s Rowing takes home 12 medals at OUAs

Gaels clinch five gold and seven silver medals at provincials

The Queen's Rowing Team had a very successful run at the OUA championships over the weekend.
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Athletics and Recreation

The Queen’s Rowing team found success on the water last weekend, coming away with five gold and seven silver medals at the OUA Championship held in Welland, Ont.

Fifth-year Gavin Stone captured gold in the Men’s 1X, while fourth and second-years Lucas Austin and Kyle Nummi won the Men’s 2X. All three were also a part of the crew who took home a gold medal for the 8+—a first, according to head coach Rami Maassarani.

“That was the first time in about 15 years that we were able to capture that event,” he said in an interview with The Journal following Saturday’s races.

“That was definitely special for all the athletes in that crew, and they did extremely well in that race.”

On the women’s side, third-years Claire Ellison and Bianca Hill took gold in the Women’s 2X, and third- and second-years Danica Vangsgaard and Lauren Matai won the Women’s Lightweight 2-.

The seven silver medals were captured in the Women’s 1X, Women’s Lightweight 1X, Women’s 4+, Women’s Lightweight 4+, Women and Men’s Lightweight 2X, and Men’s 2-. 

In the overall team standings, the Queen’s women came in second behind Western, with the men clinching a third-place finish.

“[On the women’s side], we did try to take a run at the overall team championship,” Maassarani said.

As more points are awarded to bigger boats, a second-place finish was still an impressive feat in Maassarani’s eyes, considering his roster had only ten rowers and one coxswain—less than half of many other schools.

“[It was] not the result we were hoping for, but looking at the performances of the athletes themselves, we're extremely proud of how they did.”

Maassarani later remarked that race-to-race expectations are always difficult to gauge, pointing out how the team’s haul of ten gold medals at the Brock Invitational two weeks ago didn’t guarantee anything at this race.

“You don't know how other schools end up making changes to their lineups and how that could impact the races […] We have our plan, and we stick to it, and our job is to go as fast as possible in the events that we enter.”

In practice, the Queen’s Rowing Team focuses on smaller boats because it allows them to have multiple crews training side-by-side.

“What that allows us to do is create a bit more of a competitive atmosphere in practice,” Maassarani explained.

“It creates this culture of support where everyone has their back but pushes each other at the same time. And we do see that in the results, where we punch above our weight in a lot of these races.”

With the National Championship taking place this Saturday, Maassarani says the team has already shifted their focus from OUAs to this year’s final regatta, and they’re rowing full steam ahead.

“Reflecting back on the past eight weeks, everything that we could have done, we have done. So, we just need to trust that going into the championship,” he said.

 “The goals kind of remained the same: let's put down the best performance we can and trust the preparation that we put in.”

The rowing team will return to Welland to compete in the Canadian University Rowing Championships on Nov. 6.

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