Thursday, July 28, 2005

Does the NCAA Matter?

The NCAA does not hold a national championship for lightweights and some have suggested that this has held back the spread of lightweight rowing. The reasoning is that without an NCAA championship, schools will be reluctant to spend money on lightweights because they don't count toward the college's Title IX numbers. I don't think this holds water, though, because colleges make their own count of varsity athletes and undoubtedly include varsity lightweight women in those counts. If this is a problem, it's here for a while since the NCAA says it has no plans to hold a national championship for lightweights.

Worrying about an NCAA national championship misses the point. The IRAs work fine (although why have 6 million fours and no freshman lightweights?) and does anyone really want what the heavyweight women have - a small regatta that takes place in a different place at a different time than the end of year championship celebration for the rest of the collegiate rowing world? I don't think the lack of an NCAA championship is a barrier.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Cal Lightweight Rowing

Cal has what seems to be a pretty nice lightweight club program - why not make it varsity? They already have equipment and coaches, so how difficult can it be? Lots more varsity women athletes (and Title IX benefits) for not a whole lot of work. Cal has excellent heavyweight teams so they ought to take a shot at dominating lightweights too.

Navy Lightweights?

USNA - Spring 2005
This Web page has pictures of Navy's lighweight women's crew. Who knew?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Speaking of Dad Vail

Dayton's lightweights won the Dad Vail in 2005 and they had to have been the happiest boat on the river that day. I'm not sure if Dayton has ever raced this event before, but it was a great win for that program. The rowers couldn't stop smiling and they looked like they might float all the way back to Ohio. Hopefully this will give lightweight rowing some momentum at Dayton so the school can continue to put out competitive crews. Dayton doesn't talk about lightweights all that much, which makes it seem like they'll boat an eight only if they happen to have eight fast lighweight women. Maybe now they'll make it a bit more of a priority.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Bucknell is Building Its Lightweight Program

Bucknell Women's Rowing Announces 20-Person Recruiting Class

Five of the 20 members of the Class of '09 are lightweights. Bucknell has had a very successful lightweight program over the last few years, winning at Dad Vail in 2003 and placing second in 2004. In typical fashion, when the eight won in 2003, the headline of the news release on the Bucknell athletic Web site reads, "Bucknell Women's Crew Places Second at Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia." The heavy eight, of course, placed second, while the lightweights just, well, won a gold medal! Bucknell had no lightweights at Dad Vail in 2005. I wonder what happened? Especially odd since they recruited lightweights this year. No matter, it looks like they're building the program now. I don't know why more schools like Bucknell don't boat lightweight crews. They're much more likely to find athletic lightweights than athletic heavyweights and the lightweight field is more open making serious success more attainable.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Why This Blog Was Created

Fight in the Dog was created to champion the spread of women's lightweight collegiate rowing in the United States. As women's heavyweight programs have become the sport of choice for Title IX compliance, their growth has exploded. We'd like to see lightweights experience some of that growth as well. The NCAA, and therefore many colleges and universities, treat lightweight women as an afterthought, although some would argue that lightweights are more athletic, efficient, and closer to the modern ideal of a female athlete than heavyweights. We intend to highlight the accomplishments of women collegiate lightweight crews as well as discuss the issues facing lightweight rowing. We do not intend, however, to push for an NCAA lightweight championship for women - IRAs are just too much fun!

Questions or comments here.