Patricia Higgins of Melrose successfully defended her title this weekend at the 2014 C.R.A.S.H-B Sprints, the world’s largest indoor rowing championship. Higgins competed in the Women’s Veteran (55-59) event, leading the field from start to finish with a time of 7 minutes and 35.3 seconds.
In the world of rowing, winter is a time to focus on fitness and perfecting technique, utilizing indoor rowing machines, known as ergs. The C.R.A.S.H-B Sprints serve as the culmination for the indoor training season, where athletes race two thousand meters against competitors from all over the world. For the 2014 event, over 2100 athletes from 25 countries gathered at Boston University’s Agganis Arena for their shot at the coveted hammer trophies awarded to the winner of each division.
For Essex Rowing Club, Inc’s Patricia Higgins, winning at C.R.A.S.H-B’s makes the training worth it. “I can’t believe I was able to come back and do this,” said Higgins after her race. “I was out for a month of training after an injury and only just really got back into form. To win for a second year in a row feels amazing.” Higgins, who works as a labor and delivery nurse at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, finished three tenths of a second behind her time from last year, joking, “at least I am consistent.” Higgins’s husband Dennis was with her for every stroke, serving as her race motivator, as he has every year she has raced at C.R.A.S.H-B’s.
“It is a rare thing to even meet an event winner,” said Essex Rowing’s adult coach Sara Paret. “The fact that Trish has won twice is a testament to her incredible work ethic. She is at practice every day ready to push her self and improve her stroke, all while being a great teammate. I’m so proud of her.”
Higgins’s teammate Elizabeth Lasek continued the team's success, taking second in the Women’s Veteran (60-64) event.