Sunday, August 20, 2006

Ohio State - The New Place to Be For Lightweights?

I recently heard from Coach Hugh Dodd, the new head coach at Ohio State. In addition to correcting my erroneous belief that he and Wisco's new coach, Erik Miller, were teammates at Washington (they were not; I corrected my earlier post), he also told me that he intends to revive men's lightweight rowing at OSU. This is good news for the women lights because it means that they have a coach who cares about lightweights and that they will have fellow travelers in the OSU boathouse. Success by one team will encourage and raise the standards for the other. With the huge recruiting base at Ohio State, a little rise in the popularity of the lightweight programs could mean a huge rise in the number of recruits and the speed of V8s.

While at Washington, Coach Dodd weighed around 170 pounds, making him essentially a lightweight competing for a seat on one of the nation's premier heavyweight teams. Only someone with fire in the belly (aka lightweight attitude) survives in that kind of environment. This may go a long way toward explaining his favorable attitude toward lightweights. I think that over the next couple of years the OSU light women will be a crew to watch as they try to break into the top five. Whether they get there or not, I'm pretty sure their journey won't be uneventful.

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