April 20, 2002

Women's Crew Downs BU for Fifth Straight Win

April 20, 2002

PROVIDENCE, RI - It has been five seasons since a Brown varsity women's crew last lost a regular-season race.

Year after year new people step up from lower boats and keep the streak going. "We've been very fortunate they've been able to do that," head coach John Murphy said.

This year's women's varsity, with six new people in the boat, isn't as powerful as some of the most recent varsity crews were, but it rows just as smoothly and competes just as hard.

Murphy can't quite put his finger on their continuing desire to excel, but he says he's happy to see it. "I guess they see the past crews as role models and want to continue doing what those crews did,'' he said.

The streak was in no danger of being broken Saturday, as Murphy's varsity trounced a perennially tough opponent, BostonUniversity, by better than three lengths in unusually good rowing conditions on the Seekonk River.

The Brown varsity women led by a length after the first 500 meters, then more than doubled their lead with a power surge in the next 500. The Brown women won all their races by wide margins - the second and third varsities are also undefeated- except the fours race, where the four, five, six and seven oarswomen from the first novice crew, which had raced an hour before, staved off a challenge from the BU varsity four and won the race by three seats.

Novice coach Phoebe Murphy has watched the stroke and seven oarswomen in her first novice boat improve considerably since an opening loss to Princeton and it won impressively yesterday.

The Brown women (5-0, 2-0 Ivy) will race Cornell and Columbia at Ithaca,N.Y. next Saturday, then return for their final home regatta of the season May 4 against Yale.

The times: First novice eights: Brown, 6:42.93, BU, 7:00.7. Second novice eights: Brown, 6:56.04, BU, 7:01.37. Second varsity eights: Brown, 6:24.21, BU, 6:41.12. Varsity eights: Brown, 6:08.59, BU, 6:20.25. Fours: Brown A, 7:13.8, BU A, 7:14.56, Brown B, 7:22.6, BU B, 7:36.74, Brown C, 7:37.97.