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BOSTON, Mass. -- The Columbia varsity women's eight, coming off a fine season last spring, topped 22 collegiate and club eights in finishing 17th in the Women's Championship Eights at the famed Head of the Charles regatta Sunday.
    
It was the Fall 2013 debut for head coach Scott Ramsey's squad. They enjoyed sunny skies and 60-degree temperatures, fighting off strong crossing headwinds.
    
Nevertheless, Ramsey acknowledged that he was hoping for a better showing for his boat.
    
"We didn't place as high as I would have liked," Ramsey said. "We always would want to be among the best in the Ivy League."
    
With the graduation of several key rowers, however, the Lion eight was characterized by its youth and inexperience.
    
"They are developing quickly," he noted. "They are a younger crew, but they have good personnel. They're improving every week."
    
The Lions finished behind a number of Ivy League crews, including Yale, Princeton, Radcliffe and Penn, plus eights from Virginia, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Michigan and Clemson.
    
Their 17th place, in 1:34.398, was better than Northeastern, Dartmouth, Boston University, Drexel, among others, AND Great Britain's Oxford University Women's Boat Club.   
    
"We have a lot to build on from this race," Ramsey said. "Our women raced really hard. They handled the crossing headwind just fine, but they have a lot to learn in all areas."
    
The next step in Columbia's learning experience will be next Sunday, October 27, in the Princeton Chase.

Today's rowing:
    
The Head of the Charles Regatta (three-mile head race)
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Charles River, Boston, Mass.

Event 49 - Women's Championship Eights
Columbia, 17th of 39, 17:34.398

Today's Boating:

Aneesha Baliga, cox; Colleen Condon, stroke; Hilary Going, 7; Giovanna Crozier-Fitzgerald, 6; Kellie Solowski, 5; Maia Claman, 4; Jocelyn Bohn, 3; Alexandra Swift, 2; Lottie Galliano, bow

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