May 1, 2004
Providence, RI - Brown women's crew Head Coach John Murphy received an unexpected honor Saturday morning from Brown University and from the oarswomen he has coached since coming to Brown in the fall of 1984. He was also rewarded with a five-race sweep as the Bears took on Yale and Northeastern on the Seekonk River Saturday morning.
The tri-captains of this year's varsity squad Peggy McKendry, Karen Prazar and Erika Faires presented to Murphy a silver plate with an inscription which read: "In appreciation of 20 years of coaching B rown women's crew presented to John Murphy by Brown University and the crews of 1985-2004.
David Roach, Brown's director of athletics, added his own tribute to John Murphy and his wife Phoebe, who has coached the women's novice crews over the same length of time. "No one has been better than John and Phoebe when it comes to caring about their athletes and bringing them along, '' Roach said. He announced plans for a crew banquet next fall after the Head races have been run.
Also present was Marcia Hooper '77, president of Friends of Brown Women's Crew, who was a member of the first Brown women's squad assembled in the fall of 1974.
The presentation in one of the boat bays at Hunter Marston Boathouse climaxed another hugely successful morning of competition for the Brown women on the Seekonk against Yale and Northeastern.
John Murphy had been concerned about the varsity race with Yale. Brown was ranked fourth nationally in the latest poll and Yale was right behind them at No. 5. Additionally, Yale had beaten Radcliffe by a bigger margin than Brown had a month ago.
The race lived up to all expectations. Both boats started at 4.5 strokes a minute and the Elis took a two-seat lead which they maintained for the first 800 meters. Then Brown coxswain Erika Faires called for a power 10 and Brown started to move. At the 1,000-meter mark Brown had edged ahead by two seats and in the third 500-meter segment of the race the Brown crew took charge, moving out to a one-length lead. Yale rallied strongly coming up to the finish but could cut only slightly into Brown's lead.
The Bears went on to sweep the remaining four races on the schedule, winning all by open water in their last regatta before going on to the annual championships for the Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges next Sunday at Cherry Hill N.J.
Five women from Phoebe Murphy's novice squad: Natalia Obolensky, Daniella Priebatsch, Alex Hammer, Rachel Dearborn and coxswain Lauren Williams were double winners Saturday . They comprised the winning lineup in the varsity fours race and they came back an hour later to help power Brown's first novice eight to its fifth consecutive victory.
Varsity: Brown, 6:36.2; Yale, 6:39.35; Northeastern, 7:14.72. Varsity Fours: Brown , 7:39.52; Brown, 7:47.4; Yale, 7:50.72; Yale, 8:10.24; Northeastern, 8:15.58. Second varsity: Brown, 6:51.43; Yale, 6:59.59. First Novice eights: Brown, 7:07.16; Northeastern, 7:23.04; Yale, 7:28.47. Second novice eights: Brown, 728.3; Yale, 8:00.52