By Jessica Geller, sports editor
This Arlett Cup was the most competitive Head Coach John Pojednic has seen in 15 years, he said. Boston University (BU) edged out Northeastern in the varsity eight race by .13 seconds en route to the overall win on Sunday morning.
“When I was a freshman, it was a total sweep blow-out [for NU],” senior Connor Wortley said of the Arlett Cup in 2012. “When I was a sophomore, it was similar where we won by a huge margin. This year was some of the closest racing I’ve ever been a part of.”
In the first varsity eight boat race, NU had the initial lead, following the game plan. Wortley said the rowers’ main goal was to be aggressive and establish themselves early on in each race, while BU’s plan was to pick up speed as the race went on. In the last several hundred meters, the Terriers pulled ahead and won the race in 6:03.40. NU finished the course in 6:03.53.
“Everyone raced very aggressively with the intent to create the race on our terms,” Pojednic said in an email to The News. “We will continue to approach our racing this way and look to improve our ability to close in the second 1,000 meters and last 500 meters.”
In the second varsity eight race, the Huskies took an early lead. Once again, BU inched up on NU as the teams rowed down the Charles, but this time Wortley and his boat were able to maintain control and finished in 6:13.00, .5 seconds before BU.
The third varsity eight boat race was also in NU’s favor as they rowed the course in 6:20.00. BU crossed the line in 6:20.23.
“NU and BU rowed a flat out, knock-down, drag-out battle on the water,” Pojednic said. “Credit to BU for being on the surge at the finish line on this particular day – we look forward to seeing them again at Sprints [on May 17].”
The varsity four boat race gave the time keepers some breathing room. BU won in 7:02.5 and NU finished four seconds later.
The 38th Arlett Cup was originally scheduled for Saturday morning, but was moved to early Sunday morning due to wind.
“NU and BU were the most fortunate teams in the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges last weekend,” Pojednic said. “Out of a sense of responsibility to our athletes, the coaching staffs worked together to move the races to Sunday so we’d have legitimate racing conditions – something we felt was important to the development of our teams … and the validity of the outcome of the race.”
Athletes rowing in choppy water may not be able to compete to the best of their abilities, thereby skewing the results, Pojednic said. The men’s coach recognizes that besides improving on speed, the crew can work on becoming more cohesive.
“More importantly, we are trying to empower the guys to cement what their identity is as a team this year,” Pojednic said. “I think they are on the right track, but there is a higher level of focused energy that the team has not yet tapped into.”
NU travels to Providence to compete against Brown University for the Dreissigacker Cup on Saturday.
Photo courtesy Northeastern Athletics