Sports

 

U of O rowing team races in Wellend, Ont. in the CURC
Photo by Rowing S. Roberge

 

All the way to the Canadian University Rowing Championships

ON A CRISP November weekend, the University of Ottawa rowing team travelled to Wellend, Ont., to compete in the Canadian University Rowing Championships (CURC). After a successful run in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Championships, in which the women’s varsity team placed fourth and the men’s team placed seventh, the athletes were ready to prove they belonged.

The OUA Championship saw the Gees bring home the highest count of medals in U of O rowing history with six individual medals, one being a gold medal won by fourth years Jenna Pelham and Lilianne Page in the lightweight women’s double.

The CURC regatta, held on Nov. 5–6, allowed the U of O to gather four more medals, including silver in the heavyweight women’s single and the lightweight men’s double, and bronze in the lightweight men’s single and women’s double.

“As a team, I feel that we exceeded our expectations, as well as the other universities’ expectations of our athletes,” said fourth-year Marika Kay, president of the U of O rowing teams.

The regatta consisted of 16 universities from across the country, featuring a 2000M head-to-head sprint race in addition to the regular competitions. The women’s team placed sixth overall, just one point behind the University of British Columbia, while the men’s team placed seventh with only three athletes in the competition.

The teams weren’t the only ones having a successful event as the individual rowers placed in their respective races. U of O women’s heavyweight single fourth-year Kate Goodfellow won silver and was nominated for female athlete of the year, along with lightweight men’s double fifth-year Andrew Todd, nominated for male athlete of the year.

Second-year Dylan Harris won silver with Todd, and the bronze medals were awarded to Todd in men’s singles and Pelham and Page in women’s doubles.

“As a double, OUA [Championship] was the best race we ever had,” said Page. “Obviously winning bronze this weekend to crews we beat the weekend before was not our best, but we were happy with the competition and the execution of our race.”

“We raced as best we could day of, considering the conditions and volume of races we had already completed,” said Pelham.

Kay explained their results are impressive considering they don’t have varsity status at the U of O, and that she has to thank the CURC for allowing them to compete.

“As a competitive club, we are lucky that the CURC organization allows us to compete with the fully funded varsity programs, and we are very proud to represent our team at the national level and demonstrate the power of [U of O] athletes, many of whom started rowing in our novice program,” she explained.

After the regatta, U of O head coach Sophie Roberge was named women’s coach of the year.

“The University of Ottawa rowing team is very proud of the success from the season and in turn has shown all the fully funded varsity powerhouse universities that we are a school to watch out for,” said Kay.

The varsity-level athletes will be staying in Wellend to compete in the National Rowing Competitions on Nov. 14, and the team in its entirety will meet again to compete in the Canadian Indoor Rowing Championships.