In the varsity eights, UNC focused on maintaining its split — the third 500 meters of the race — after fading during the split in last weekend’s loss to Old Dominion.
“That’s where you kind of start to black out, your lungs are on fire, your legs hurt, and there’s nothing more you want to do than stop,” said senior Maria Santoyo. “But you know that the harder you go, the faster you get to the finish line, and we did a good job of that.”
Although UNC’s fastest boat was still unable to pull out a win, the Tar Heels set an example that the rest of the team hopes to follow for the remainder of the season.
In the second varsity eights, UNC finished only seconds behind Georgetown again, this time falling 7:22.8 to 7:25.4. To end the regatta, the novice eights lost 7:43.1 and 8:15.9.
In front of a home crowd for the only time this season, UNC was still unable to come out ahead. Even in defeat, though, both players and coaches for North Carolina spoke proudly about not only Saturday’s performance, but also what results like it mean for the program.
“These schools — we’ve never been competitive with them before, so it’s a whole new ball game,” Santoyo said.
Coach Sarah Haney agreed.
“This is probably the best team we’ve had in a really long time ... They came in this year knowing that nobody was going to tell them they were slow — they just weren’t going to believe it,” Haney said. “Their teamwork, their attitude, their commitment and just absolute belief (in) winning is huge.”