March 20, 2007
Providence, RI - Finishing just three-tenths of a second away from its fifth national championship in West Windsor, New Jersey last year, the Brown Women's Crew has been preparing for another exciting and successful season in 2007.
Although head coach John Murphy and his wife, Phoebe, face formidable challenges in seeking to win another NCAA championship, they are both optimistic for the upcoming season.
After losing a very special group of seniors, which may have been one of the best classes to come through the program, Murphy's squad must make up for the lost time during the past month due to bad weather conditions and hit their stride in time for the championships.
The weather, which has been a serious handicap, has hampered the Bears in preparing for Princeton and Ohio State on March 24. Assuming the crew is able to get in four practices this week, they have only had 12 good practices on the water since mid-February.
"It's the fewest we have ever had," said Murphy about the number of practices on the water. "The coaches in our league wanted to have the season start later, but we were overruled."
But despite the fewer practices, and losing seniors such as Mira Mehta, Deborah Dryer, Caitlin Flynn, Meg Anderson, Sarah Bowman and Katie Reynolds, Murphy is still very confident about his crew this year.
He has five women back from the varsity crew that rowed in the nationals last season, plus six women back from the second varsity, as well as what he is calling a "very strong sophomore class."
The five returners are seniors Rachel Dearborn (Santa Monica, CA), and Alexandra Hammer (Chestnut Hill, MA), junior Emma Olson (New Haven, CT) and sophomores Jessica Stage (Alexandria, VA), and Kelly O'Brien (Avon, CT).
The Bears kick off the season in Princeton, New Jersey, on March 24 as they take on the Princeton Tigers and the Ohio State Buckeyes.