Kelly Drive was partially shut down this weekend during one of the biggest rowing races of the fall season, the 49th annual Head of the Schuykill Regatta.
The Villanova women’s rowing team had eight overall boat entries, three varsity eights and two varsity fours. The rest were novice entries.
The varsity eight placed eighth with a time of 14:14.96 led by sophomore Holly Hubbard, who as stroke seat sets the pace for the crew. The second varsity eight, led by junior Amanda Miller, also placed eighth in its race crossing the line at 14:34.95, close behind Temple University. Finally, the third Varsity eight, led by Julia Longo, finished at 15:25.28, placing 24th, concluding the Varsity eights for Villanova.
Earlier in the morning, the varsity fours led by sophomore Madison Burke and senior Sierra Land placed 20th and 21st, respectively, with close times of 16:14.17 and 16:14.67.
Senior captain Caroline Murphy commented, “It felt really strong today, both the race and the support.”
Many Villanova rowing alumni and parents come to Head of the Schuykill to show their encouragement for the team.
This year was a little different. Before the racing had commenced, there was a boat dedication ceremony. For the first time in the history of the program, Villanova women’s rowing was able to dedicate and name three boats: The Saint, Chris St. Clair and Ellen Minzner.
The Saint is named after Jack St. Clair, who coached Villanova rowing for 26 years, and Chris St. Clair after his wife Clair. The final boat, Ellen Minzner, is named after Villanova rowing alumna and two-time World Champion, Ellen Minzner.
“It’s emotional,” Murphy said as she described the boat naming ceremony. “It made me feel the support of the entirety of the rowing program from all of the people who have come before us. It showcases where we have come from and where our program is headed. I am fortunate to be a part of something that is so much bigger than myself.”
Overall, the Wildcats showed this weekend that they deserve to be recognized and that their program is continuing to grow. They have become increasingly competitive with other Division 1 rowing programs.
On Nov. 2 the team will compete at the 1969 Cup in Cherry Hill, N.J. which will be their final race for the fall season.