The women’s rowing team had a strong weekend at the OUA Championship Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course in St. Catharines, locking in a silver medal.
Western, who won gold in both men’s and women’s this year, was in control for much of the competition, sweeping all the women’s weight classes with first-place finishes. The Gaels managed to keep it close, however, and at one point came within nine seconds of topping the Mustangs.
The Gaels’ women’s team ended the day with second place finishes in the heavy 2-, heavy 2x, lightweight 8+ and the heavy 8+ categories, and a third place finish in the lightweight 4+.
Lead women’s coach, Rami Maassarani, said he was pleased with the result, though at times their shot at a second-place finish seemed dicey.
“Overall, we’re pretty happy with the result. It’s pretty much what we were shooting for,” he said of the team’s performance. “But it was extremely close with Brock and we knew it’d be tight, so we’re glad all of our boats performed as expected or better.”
Scoring breaks down through different events for eights, fours, doubles, pairs and singles in both heavyweight and lightweight categories. Depending on the placement of each crew and event, the teams are awarded a certain amount of points. The bigger the boat or event, the more points each school is given, and at the end of the competition, the points are tallied up.
Western finished far ahead of the pack with 607 points, while the Gaels filled in considerably lower at 265, with Brock nine points behind.
The vast gap between Western and the teams that followed seems — at the very least — daunting, but what’s encouraging is that the Gaels have been breathing down their neck for some time.
2012-13 was the last time the Gael’s women’s team captured gold at the OUA championships, but in every year since they’ve finished second at the event. And, without much surprise, Western was the only team to consistently finish ahead of them.
In regards to striking gold and entering the Western “tier”, Maasarami said it’s still something the program is trying to piece together.
“It’s one of those things where we have to take it one year at a time and figure out what went well this year and what we can improve on, and just keep chipping away at it.”
Since the recent appointment of new head coach, Phil Marshall, who oversees both the men’s and women’s programs, Maasarami is excited to see what’s in store for the program.
“We are seeing improvement year-over-year, and we want to keep that trend going — just keep improving on the year before.”
Queen’s men’s team finished fifth at the competition this year, behind Western in first place, Brock, Trent and McGill respectively.
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