|Erika Parisi sat in the two-set for the winning women's varsity eight
MEDFORD - Tufts Jumbos Crews opened their spring 2012 season Saturday in their 11th annual dual race with the Tulane Green Wave. The day was marked by impressive opening performances by the Varsity Women and Novice Men against the visitors from New Orleans, but was countered with a Tulane win in the Varisty Men's race to keep the Jumbos from a clean sweep.
The Tufts Novice Men set the pace with a strong early move to carve out an open water lead on Tulane by the 500 meter mark of the 2k race course on the Malden River. Rowing at 35-36 strokes a minute throughout, the Brown and Blue first year's extended their lead to over two lengths by the time they passed the William A. Shoemaker Boathouse en route to the fastest time of the day, 6:39.9 with Tulane crossing in 7:03.4.
The Tufts Varsity Women showed clean blade work early, middle and late, perhaps enabled by extended training sessions during spring training. The stern of the boat, junior coxswain Audrey Abrell (Valparaiso, IN), senior stroke Kathleen Holec (New Canaan, CT) and senior Maggie Debski (Pittsburgh, PA) set an early pace of 36 strokes a minute and put the Green Wave down by a length-plus at the 500 meter mark. With the margin extended to a length and one half in front of Shoemaker Boathouse the Jumbos never looked back, doubling their lead in the second thousand and finishing with a time of 7:29.3 to best Tulane by 11.8 seconds.
Tulane was not going to go down quietly however and rallied to take down the Tufts Varsity Men. The Men from Tulane attacked aggressively right from the start settling to 37 strokes per minute to the Jumbo's 35.5. The Green Wave appeared to be in mid-season form and simply out-stroked Tufts and gained a two length lead passing the boathouse. The Jumbos mounted a counter attack in the third five hundred, but Tulane would have none of it and pulled away for the win in the last quarter of the race. Tulane crossed the line in a time of 6:41.4 to Tufts' 6:55.2
The actIon continues this weekend on Sunday morning beginning at 9:30 as the Jumbos play host to Tulane, Wentworth, Mount Holyoke and NESCAC foe Hamilton in a 20-race program.