DCSRC Women's Novice Program member Anne Squires pins the team's entry number on the back of the crew's bow seat rower Sasha Godfrey.
DC Strokes men's and women's novice and club teams competed in the 2010 Head of the Occoquan - better known as HOTO - giving rowing teams across the Mid-Atlantic a battle to the finish line and concluding this year's rowing season with high hopes for next year's club and competitive line ups.
The annual HOTO two-day event was held at Sandy Run Regional Park and typically marks the end of the rowing season. Collegiate eights, fours and singles hit the 5,000 meters or 3.2 mile course on day one. Day two hosted Club, Junior and Master's events.
DCSRC competed on day two, entering one boat in the Women's Club 8, two boats in the Men's Club 8 and one boat in the Men's Club 4 events. Though no DCSRC team came home with a first place medal, this race gave coaches a glimpse of what could be next year. Without a Novice category to enter into, the DC Strokes first-year rowers had to compete with more experienced teams. The Novice women finished sixth out of six teams at 22:13.34, but only 13 seconds behind a Club boat from Capital Rowing Club.
The Novice men finished fourth of five teams in 20:33.78; 40 seconds ahead of another club boat from Capital and 29 seconds behind DCSRC's Club eight that finished the race in 20:04.09.
"The results of the novice crews were gratifying," Novice Coach Elisabeth Morgan said. "It is always our goal to, at the finish of the five-month novice season, have positioned our men and women to be capable of being competitive against crews with similiar or greater experience, whether from other adult rowing clubs or colleges and universities.
"The results from yesterday show that our novice men and women are ready to contribute as members of DC Strokes' competitive and club programs next year," Morgan said.
DCSRC President Jason Beagle said he was impressed by the efforts from the Novice crew. "The team as a whole has made remarkable progress over the past year. These up-and-coming Novices will surely achieve great things in the years to come."
The Novices did have plenty of experienced rowers to look to for advice and inspiration as they strived to improve during the season. The Novices watched and learned from a distance, at this year's HOTO, but Beagle got a chance to see first hand the power and technique of the Club crew members.
"Our Club Program rowers have formed a core group of dedicated rowers who continue to perform well against other teams throughout the Mid-Atlantic," he said. "I am very proud to have had the opportunity to compete with them in this race."
For more racing results, visit Ronin Racing's website. View photos of DCSRC at HOTO 2010.