March 25, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
Navy rower Katherine Ashton did a little extra this past offseason in preparing for the Mids' upcoming spring schedule. Though she spent endless hours on the ergometer like all rowers do when the temperature drops and the waters are too rough, Ashton did so with an additional goal. While training for the upcoming season with the Mids, she also participated in the World Indoor Rowing Championships, also known as the C.R.A.S.H.-B Sprints.
The daylong event features rowers of all ages from around the world competing on ergometers. This year's World Indoor Rowing Championships took place on the campus of Boston University at Agganis Arena in February. Ashton, who just began rowing when she came to the Naval Academy, qualified for the championships at a preliminary race earlier in the year.
With just one race and over 100 rowers competing at once, Ashton put together an outstanding performance at the Indoor Rowing Championships - placing fifth out of 189 competitors in the women's open division. The division included some of the best collegiate rowers from around the nation, as well as the world. Ashton even had the opportunity to compete next to Meghan Musnicki, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist from Team USA.
"It was really cool experience," said Ashton. "I couldn't believe I was rowing against an Olympic gold medalist."
Ashton completed the 2000-meter row in 6:53, just 14 seconds behind Musnicki and 20 seconds out of first place. She was one of just eight in the field of 189 that finished with a time under 7:00.
"It was awesome just to be able to row with that caliber of athletes," said Ashton. "After the experience I had this year, I definitely want to go back."
Ashton was named to the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Pocock All-America Second Team last season as a member of the Mids' varsity eight, and she'll be in the boat again this season. While her experience at the event was exciting, she's ready to be back with her teammates getting ready for the season.
"Erging is okay, I don't find it as painful as some people," said Ashton. "I'm ready to get back on the water though."
The Navy women's rowing team will compete in their first race of the season this Saturday as Mids will travel to Cherry Hill, N.J., for the Murphy Cup Regatta.