Five Crews Race to Best Times of Season in D-I Meet

Heather Gaughan with the Coach Francis X. McDonald, ©Alex Machi
Heather Gaughan with the Coach Francis X. McDonald, ©Alex Machi

LOWELL, Mass. – Faced with its toughest challenge yet, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy crew team rose to the occasion, with the men's and women's varsity fours rowing to fourth place finishes against mostly Division-I competition at the River Hawk Challenge.

Tasked with a lineup that included the Universities of Rhode Island, Maine, and UMass-Lowell, Head Coach Alex Machi saw all five of his quads shatter their previous best times for the season, with most of the times good enough to win any of the previous meets.

"Maritime crew went up against their best competition of the season thus far on the Merrimack River," explained Machi. "Some results there might be forecasts of what we'll see at this year's New England Rowing Championships on May 5th."

Facing Bowdoin, Endicott, and Franklin Pierce, the Buccaneer women came in at 7:54.2, more than 90 seconds better than their best result of the season. Though they finished fourth among those colleges, the quad, which features a pair each of first- and second-year rowers, with senior stroke Brianna Caissie, showed magnificent improvement.

The men's varsity quad came very close to breaking the seven-minute barrier for the first time this season, coming home at 7:01.5. Composed of a different four rowers each time, Machi's combination at Lowell was 39 seconds better than any previous top men's boat this season.

It was the men's second varsity and novice boats that really made waves, though. Patrick Wall, Charles Malone, John Carey, Jacob Awalt, and Ethan Logan came in at 7:19.8, only four seconds behind Johnson and Wales and a whopping 72 seconds better than any other second boat this season. Wall is the only 2018 graduand for the boat, which finished fifth.

Carey and Awalt then jumped in the novice quad with William Nolan, Seth Lapriore, and cox Eric Higgins and rowed to an even better time. The 7:18.1 mark was a more than 65-second improvement over any other race this spring and was only 10 seconds by the host River Hawks in fourth.

"Under the guidance of [first-year] coxswain Heather Gaughan, our women earned a [strong] finish in the women's varsity fours," explained the coach. "Later in the day our men's second varsity boat fought its way to a very competitive [finish…] against crews hailing from Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode  Island. And with three members of that boat doubling up in the very next men's event, our novice four managed fifth in the final race of the day, the MN4+.

The team will travel to Smithfield, R.I. for the Bryant University Meet next Saturday in its final regular season race of the year.

"With great conditions, and several weeks of racing under their belts, all boats were rowing their fastest Saturday," concluded Machi. "We're looking forward to more excellent efforts by MMA athletes then!"

Make sure to bookmark and get the inside scoop on Facebook and Twitter @mmabuccaneers. Plus, check out our new Instagram @massmaritimebuccaneers.

Gabriel Fidler, Sports Information Associate


WV4+ (Women's Varsity Four with coxswain)

Bow – Patria 'Cat' Swan '20

2-seat – Hana Haskell '21

3-seat – McKenzie Hartman '20

Stroke – Brianna Caissie '18

Coxswain – Heather Gaughan '21



Bowdoin - 1st - 6:47.6

Endicott - 2nd - 7:13.4

Franklin Pierce -

3rd - 7:28.9

Maritime - 4th - 7:54.2



MV4+ (Men's Varsity Four with coxswain)

Bow – Nicholas Mirabile '21

2-seat – Nathanael Costa '19

3-seat – Quincy Smith '21

Stroke – Timothy O'Neill '20

Coxswain – Ethan Logan '19



UMass/Lowell - 1st - 6:14.6

Wentworth - 2nd - 6:15.7

Gordon -

3rd - 6:27.7

Maritime - 4th - 7:01.5



M2V4+ (Men's Varsity Four with coxswain)

Bow – Patrick Wall '18

2-seat – Charles Malone '20

3-seat – John Carey '21

Stroke – Jacob Awalt '21

Coxswain – Ethan Logan '19



Bowdoin - 1st - 6:07.8

Wentworth - 2nd - 6:18.6

Rhode Island -

3rd - 6:25.4

U. Maine - 4th - 6:55.0

JWU - 5th - 7:15.7

Maritime - 6th - 7:19.8



MN4+ (Men's Novice Four with coxswain)

Bow – William Nolan '21

2-seat – Seth Lapriore '21

3-seat – John Carey '21

Stroke – Jacob Awalt '21

Coxswain – Eric Higgins '21


Bowdoin "A" - 1st - 6:29.5

Wentworth - 2nd - 6:38.1

Bowdoin "B" - 3rd - 6:43.8

UMass/Lowell - 4th - 7:08.5

Maritime - 5th - 7:18.1