Women’s Rowing Continues Success
- Phil Ticknor
The team won in dominant fashion—winning the first, second, and third varsity eights, all by over 10 seconds. First-year head coach Karin Hughes recognized the accomplishment by her team.
“Winning the MARC is never easy and teams are getting faster and faster each year - this spring there were three teams from the Conference ranked in the top 15 at some point during the season,” she said. “It was a real team effort; all three boats knew they had to go out and race aggressively. That all three boats won their respective race really made the day special.”
Hughes hasn’t been shy of finding success in her first season as head coach, being named the MARC Women’s Coach of the Year. “To be named as Coach of the Year is such an honor and is really a testament to the outstanding coaching staff and athletes we have at Washington College,” she expressed. Hughes also credited her entire coaching staff, including Jeannine McCarty, Lauren McElhenny, and Caren Saunders, all who have had unique different contributions to the program.
Senior Maddie Morrissette and junior Jules Shipps were named to the All-MARC Varsity Team, and freshman Olivia Robb was awarded to the All-MARC Novice Team.
“Being named to the All-MARC Varsity Team, along with Jules Shipps, is a great honor,” Morrissette said. “Our team works to push each other on land and on the water, so all of the speed that individuals have, and that we have together, is thanks to our championship culture. What is great about rowing is that each and every member contributes to the speed of the team, no matter the boat, year, or experience level.”
Shipps feels the same gratitude as Morrissette, along with some disbelief.
“I was so excited when Coach Karri called my name at the awards ceremony. I wasn’t expecting it at all and I’m honored to be selected,” Shipps said. “Over the summer i made a decision that this was going to be the year I really stepped up and made myself work harder than I had in seasons past.”
The team will now prepare to compete in the NCAA Division III National Championship on May 25th and 26th in West Windsor, N.J.
Morrissette wants to finish out her final season the right way, and understands that it will take some work. “We are going to continue to put in more hard work than we have ever done before, pushing ourselves mentally and physically. We’re incredibly lucky to have a nurturing, knowledgeable, and competitive coaching staff to push us there,” she said.
Shipps respects to tough road to make it to NCAA’s, but credits the team’s chemistry in making it to the final stage.
“We as a team are strong both physically and mentally and we will continue to grow together in the next four weeks leading up to NCAA’s,” she said. “Everyone is in the same headspace and we are always happy to be at the boathouse. Yes, 6am weekday practices are brutal but we do it with a smile on our faces even if our eyes aren’t open.”
“After finals, we will continue to train on the water and in the weight room - with the singular focus of achieving the goal the team set this fall - to earn the program’s first NCAA medal,” said Coach Hughes.