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Two Greenwich Women Go Out on Top of College Rowing

GREENWICH, Conn. – If the competitive rowing careers of Hunter Terry and Cristine Candland of Greenwich have come to a close, and it seems like they have, they certainly went out on top.

The two seniors played significant roles in helping the University of Virginia win its second NCAA championship in three years last month in West Windsor, N.J. The women were members of the Varsity 4 that finished second to Ohio State in their final collegiate race. The Cavaliers won the team title with 87 points, followed by Michigan with 82.

“This spring has been fun,’’ said Terry, who competed at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. “It was great to be with everyone. I was a sophomore on the 2010 team that won, and I looked up to the older girls. I’m proud to be part of this class. Two championships in three years, I feel like we’re kind of spoiled.”

Candland, a fifth-year senior who attended Greenwich Academy, was the coxswain of the Varsity 4. She will pursue a career in nursing. Terry will continue her studies at the American University in Beirut. The transition from full-time student and varsity athlete to post-college life will be an adjustment.

“It’s super weird right now,’’ Candland said. “I’m sure it will get weirder. It’s amazing to wake up and think there’s not four people to be accountable for and to account for. I have some studying to do, but it’s just weird to have this much free time. I think we’re both secretly glad that it’s over. It was a great experience.”

Terry and Candland nearly came home with gold in their final race. With Candland calling the shots, Virginia jumped out to a five-seat lead after just 500 meters. The Cavaliers continued to push hard early, but the taxing start caught up with them later in the race. Ohio State caught Virginia with 500 meters to go and won by just over two seconds. “We were really proud of the way we race,’’ Terry said. “We really went after it. Ohio State just caught us.”

Candland joked that Virginia coaches called the Varsity 4 the “geriatric boat” since all of the crew members were seniors. “I was lucky to be with that boat,’’ Candland said. “They were some of the best athletes I know.”

The Greenwich women did not know each other well when they started their careers at Virginia. But that started to change during the course of their careers, and really took hold this year. “She’s a phenomenal racer,’’ Terry said of Candland. “She has this cool confidence that lets her work well with a group of four.”

Unfortunately for rowers, there are not many opportunities beyond college. Maybe it’s just as well. After the grind of collegiate athletics, time away from the sport may not be such a bad thing. “I think I had the best undergrad experience,’’ Candland said. “But my coach [Kevin Sauer] said something that’s very true, and that it’s supposed to be a great experience and be happy that you did it, but hard enough that you don’t want to do it again. I think that’s where we are.”

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