MHS Crew Team. Photo submitted by Paige Pimental.
The members of the crew team have trained hard, and finally getting on the water, many boats saw success. Although the team is much smaller this year-- 19 people as opposed to more than 50 people in past years-- a new aspect of the team has come to light.
“It was easier for the coaches to really focus one on one and notice what each individual was doing wrong and how to improve,” reflects senior Paige Pimental, who rowed seat 3 in the Varsity 4 boat and seat 7 in the Varsity 8 boat. In past years, the coaches were notorious for rigorous workouts, and although that has not ceased, it also gave the team an edge as instruction became more individualized.
“Our Novice boys actually beat our Varsity boys at the Cape Cod Regatta,” said Pimental. The new recruits have a lot to offer even though the team is smaller, especially since they are “very dedicated rowers.”
Due to the dramatic loss of last year’s seniors, the time on the water the team was affected. With a small team, if one person does not come to practice, then the entire boat must sit out since there are no replacements. This puts Malden to a greater disadvantage as the temperatures and climate during the season also affects water time.
This was reflected in the 2019 Moose on Malden Regatta event hosted by the Malden High Crew team, which saw less rowers than usual due to a date change, bringing the event to early May as opposed to late May or early June. The 9th Annual Boston Wounded Vet Run this year planned on hosting a charity run on the same day as the Moose but had changed their route, causing the regatta to be pushed earlier; this year the Regatta was on May 11th and 12th.
“Most teams like it towards the end of the season, the team is more prepared because the weather obviously is horrible sometimes so you cannot get a lot of water time,” said coach Sarah Jones, “some of the teams come from Maine and it is even colder up there so they don’t get as much water time even so… so some of them are like, ‘Well we’ve practiced for a whole week’... and the Novice are not prepared to go down the river by themselves.”
The date change for the Regatta meant less practice but, “[the team] made up for it at the Mayor’s Cup Regatta” where the Girls Varsity 4 got fourth place, missing the 3rd place spot by only four seconds and the Novice boys received first place. This year was the first year Pimental’s boat did not receive a medal during the Moose on Malden, she noted.
Aside from the Moose, the lack of members changed lineups dramatically. “The other teams are full of Varsity rowers who have been together for years and work flawlessly on a boat,” said Pimental. With new boats in formation, the rowers may be unaccustomed to the people, putting Malden at a disadvantage. Pimental attributes this as the reason for the disparity in wins this year.
Nonetheless, the team is much closer. Less people means a greater chance to talk to everybody and get to know them more closely. “It’s been a lot easier to plan things and get in touch and become a close team,” said Pimental.