The Ithaca College women’s crew team will look to their senior class for leadership as they venture into their 2018 spring season.
Headed by senior captains Libby Burns and Karina Feitner, the Bombers are seeking a return to the NCAA Championship following their fourth-place finish last season.
The Blue and Gold will have some adjustments to make for this season, given the move they made into the Liberty League Conference. This change will give the South Hill squad an easier time getting into the NCAA tournament due to the conference’s automatic qualifying bid. Prior to this season, the women’s crew team was not a member of a conference.
The Bombers graduated eight seniors from their roster that finished fourth place in last season’s NCAA Championship. However, 13 new seniors will take charge this spring, all of whom head coach Becky Robinson said she believes have what it takes.
“It is a really good senior class,” Robinson said. “It’s a competitive class with lots of strong personalities. Their heads are in the right place, and I feel really good about where we are at this point in terms of having a unified senior group to lead this team.”
Feitner said the senior class is good enough to replace last year’s seniors.
“The eight seniors that we lost last year definitely made an impact,” Feitner said. “Especially because most of them were in our top two boats. But our senior class this year is a powerhouse class, and we have had underclassmen fill in all of the lost seats from last year.”
Burns said the team is adopting a more team-centered mindset that they hope will contribute to reaching their end goal.
“We have been focusing a lot on ‘one team’ and ‘big team, little me,’ which really means putting our teammates before ourselves,” Burns said. “Ultimately, we can’t achieve this goal without each other.”
Burns also made it clear that the results of the 2017 season have left a bad taste in the team’s mouth and has given it plenty of motivation.
“Last year, we lost most of our big races by tenths of seconds, and even at NCCAs we found ourselves in the same situation,” Burns said. “We are using those tenths of seconds as our motivation. … We aren’t settling for those tenths. We want to be on the other side of those tenths. We had a great run at NCAAs last year. However, we know how that
fourth-place finish felt.”
Feitner said the team has already shown improvement, coming into the season.
“My, and many other members of the team, training has increased dramatically from last year,” Feitner said “With people putting in substantial amounts of extra work in order to improve technique as well as cardio and power, we have already been seeing personal records and it is still very early in the season.”
The Bombers look to start strong as they kick off their spring campaign on March 31 in the Cayuga Duals held at the Cayuga Inlet.