By James Greene
Special to GoHolyCross.com
The Holy Cross women's rowing team continues preparations for the upcoming 2009-2010 season. The squad has four meets in four weeks on the fall slate before commencing winter training in the Hart Center's rowing tanks.
Program director and women's head coach Patrick Diggins has announced seniors Abigail Hammond and Mara Piltin as this season's co-captains. Both are entering their fourth year on the team. Hammond was a member of the varsity eight as a junior, where she was a part of the crew that placed third at the Snake Regatta. She also was a member of the varsity eight that finished third at the Patriot League Championship and fifth at the New England Championship last year. Piltin split time between the varsity eight and second varsity eight last season as a junior. A three-time selection to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll, she rowed with the second varsity eight that finished third at the Patriot League Championship and second at the New England Championship last season. Both traveled to England in 2008 to row at the Henley Women's Regatta.
Both seniors expressed a deep sense of gratitude and humility in being named this season's captains. "It was an absolute honor to be named team captain," Piltin said. "It is great to know that my coaches take notice of my commitment to the team and I am excited to have an important role in the drive and success of our crew this year."
"It is a special honor to be chosen captain," Hammond said. "It is a responsibility I hold in high regard. Going into my fourth year, I'm projecting a great season."
The captains also received praise from Diggins. "They're both great kids, very involved in the program," he said.
The schedule begins with Holy Cross hosting the Snake Regatta on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester (Oct. 10), followed by the 45th Head of the Charles Regatta on the Charles River in Boston (Oct. 17-18). The fall slate continues at the Princeton Chase in Princeton, N.J. (Oct. 25), before concluding at the Green Monster Regatta in Hanover, N.H. (Nov. 7). The spring schedule will be announced at a later date.
Diggins said the team will test themselves with the fall schedule, but the team will use the experience mainly for training purposes. "What we're going to use the fall to do is primarily to get some miles in," he said. "We're going to try to get many more miles in the small boats - the doubles, the pairs, the fours - just to work on our technique. And we'll spend a good amount of time in the weight room. We're going to spend a lot of time working on the stroke, perfecting people's technique and getting people stronger."
According to Piltin, the fall is a great time for the Crusaders to test themselves against top flight competition. "For the fall, making waves at prestigious races such as the Head of the Charles and the Princeton Chase would mean a lot for Holy Cross' name in the rowing world," she said.
Holy Cross Women's Rowing Ready For 2009-2010 Season
By James Greene