Coming off a 2015-16 campaign that ended with the program's first-ever appearance at the Henley Women's Regatta in the United Kingdom - the largest women's regatta worldwide - the women's rowing program returned to campus this fall and continued its ascent in the program's sixth season.
Merrimack started its fall campaign by racing in the 52nd running of the Head of the Charles Regatta on the Charles River in Boston, Mass. The Warriors' Collegiate Fours crew of junior Jess Khoury, sophomores Tasha Wypych and Ashley Augulewicz and seniors Lauren Blazon and Amy Wengefeld competed against prominent Division I programs Clemson, Cincinnati and Oregon among others. The Navy and Gold bested 24 of the 35 boats in the competition, crossing the finishing line in 11th place for the best finish in program history.
Merrimack rounded out its fall season with its first victory of the season at the Textile River Regatta, besting crews from UMass Lowell and Amherst College.
Spring is here!
The Warriors returned to campus and faced a six-event ledger beginning in April at the Knecht Cup. For the third straight season, the Warriors posted a top-three finish in the event hosted in New Jersey, edging out top-ranked Florida Tech by less than a second to claim third place.
Merrimack rode that momentum to close out April with a pair of victories and one second-place finish. The Warriors bested UMass Lowell in a dual race that immediately followed the Knecht Cup before returning to the Merrimack River to claim a second-place rank at the River Hawk Challenge. The Navy and Gold closed the month by collecting its fifth straight NE10 Cup by winning the program's lone Varsity Eights Race of the Season.
Novice Fours Shine at NERC
With the weather cancelling the Varsity Fours Grand Final at the New England Rowing Championships, the Novice Fours unit stole the headlines in Worcester. Merrimack's crew consisting of Claire Foley, Quezia Lacerda, Katherine Lawless, Arpi Parseghian and Emily Crowe raced to a sixth-place qualifying time, advancing as the final team out of the 11 entries.
In the Final, Merrimack bested entries from Connecticut College, Bates College, New Hampshire and UMass Lowell after trailing those four boats in the qualifying heat. The Warriors collected the silver medal, missing out on the gold by just a few seconds.
Thank You Seniors
Captain Lauren Blazon and classmate Amy Wengefeld graduated from the program, leaving two spots on the Warriors' Varsity Fours crew open when the fall season commences in September. Senior Megan Lacombe also graduates after spending the last few seasons with the Warriors. The Warriors' seniors guided the Navy and Gold to a No. 1 regional ranking in the East Region this season.
Merrimack does return Khoury, Wypych and Augulewicz next season as long as every member of its Novice Fours crew along with four other roster members as the Warriors aim to retool for the 2017-18 campaign!