Sunday, August 06, 2006

USRowing Nationals

USRowing Nationals took place July 19th through the 23rd and a quick look at the competitors in the intermediate lightweight events shows that college lightweights didn't stop going after one another when IRAs ended. I'm sure I missed an athlete or two, but there were several women in Indianapolis who looked across the lane markers to see a familiar face.

In the Elite/Open Lightweight 4x, '06 Harvard grad and NYAC rower Sara Bates met up with Pocock rower and '05 Wisconsin grad Katie Sweet. In a three boat race the Pocock 4x finished first over NYAC, which finished third. Despite the dearth of entries in this event it was incredibly competitive as Sweet's winning Pocock 4x later won trials and will represent the US at Worlds in Eton. Marist rower (they put out some lightweight boats) Lisa Daniello also rowed in the NYAC 4x. Bates went on to win a national championship in the senior lightweight 2x, beating five other boats.

UCF rower Melissa Kroll competed for the Chicago Rowing Center in the intermediate lightweight 4x, finishing third of four boats. Kroll won a national championship in the senior lightweight 2-, finishing first of two. UCF teammate Lauren Schueler, rowing for Steel City, raced the intermediate lightweight 2-, finishing second out of two boats. Kroll also raced the senior lightweight 4+, finishing second out of five boats.

The intermedaite lightweight 2x and 1x saw the most collegiate foes face off. Rowing for the Boston Development Camp, an all Radcliffe 2x of Mariah Evarts and Naomi Ford went out in the heats. UCF's Lauren Schueler's 2x finished fifth in the nine boat field. Under the heading of mixed marriages, the fourth place intermediate lightweight 2x from Undine Barge Club was comprised of Bucknell's Caitlin Doolin and Princeton's Madeline Davis.

Three of the 2x competitors also faced off in the intermediate lightweight 1x. In a sixteen boat field, Radcliffe's Ford went out in the semi, as did UCF's Schueler. Princeton's Davis made it through to finals and finished fifth of sixteen. Although not a lightweight event, Davis also raced the Elite/Open 1x Dash, finishing fifth out of eight.

Both Radcliffe and UCF had at least two returning rowers competing at nationals and who will come back to their college programs with great racing experience. Summer racing isn't for everyone and is best avoided for those worried about burn out. For those enthusiastic about maintaining a high level of training through the summer months, however, it provides great racing experience, exposure to new coaches, and, as is the case with at least one 2x, the opportunity to train and compete with women you previously only knew as rivals.

If you look at the number of entries in these events, you'll notice that the sculling events, and particularly the single, have the largest fields. (The elite events are a special case because there aren't many rowers at that level and this year trials started just one week after nationals.) Not only does sculling help you become a better sweep rower, but if you want to row as a lightweight outside of college, you must scull. The only Olympic event for lightweights is the 2x and the only event at Worlds for lightweights are the 1x, 2x, and 4x. You'll notice that each of the rowers I mentioned above competed in at least one sculling event.

Canadian Henley begins this week and no doubt some of these same rowers will compete there. The competition there is from all over North America and the fields will be much larger. Many of the larger events will run heats with only two to advance to semis (no reps). This method of progression certainly finds the very top boats, but it does result in some fast crews getting knocked out early. By Sunday evening Eastern Daylight Time, the summer rowing season will officially be over (unless you're off to Worlds!). Then it's time to pack the unis and the Coolmax shirts and head back to school for the head season.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

go krolleo