Monday, January 15, 2007

Stetson to Add Lightweights!

Stetson will be adding lightweights to it's women's crew program with the first recruits entering school in the fall of this year. The Hatters aren't talking about simply rowing a few lightweight fours, however, they're going full bore - a goal of 9 to 10 rowers and coxswains this fall and 5 the following three years. are available. Looks like newly hired coach Chris Thomas will head up the program and he is the main recruiting contact. I guess UCF will have to pay a little closer attention to what's happening up I-4. In a short time they'll no longer be able to wake up each January 1st as the new year's Florida state lightweight champions!

Digging into the Everything is Connected File, we see that the Stetson head coach, Chris Deatrick, and an assistant, Jessica Clark, are both UCF grads. In fact Deatrick rowed as a lightweight at UCF and coached at UCF, including one year as the head lightweight coach. It seems a pretty safe bet that UCF's success helped convince the Stetson athletic department to add lightweights.

It seems to me that women's lightweight rowing is really starting to gain momentum. We had an exciting, highly competitive IRA Regatta last year, Tulsa added varsity lightweights, Alabama went varsity with the intention of keeping lightweights, Pitt is suddenly a national force in fours, the Radcliffe novices were blowing away heavyweights last fall, the slumbering lightweights at MIT are beginning to stir, and a lightweight coach is heading up the CRCA lightweight committee. Things are good and they're getting better!

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Anonymous said...

Rowing scholarship money and lightweights have seemed to be mutually exclusive concepts. Having a coach who intends to focus on lightweights in his/her rowing repertoire and also intends to put money where his/her mouth is a great step forward. Very few programs, if any currently, actually make the financial commitment to lightweight rowing. But, if they would, it would seem the athletic quality of their recruits would skyrocket. So (OK, outside of the Ivies), who wants to win at IRAs?

JW Burk said...

I agree. It's not clear how many scholarships will be available, and I imagine they will be split among several rowers, but to your point, ANY money is a great step forward.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, it looks like Stetson as of right now, will not be adding lightweights, or any boats for that matter. They took a real bad beating with the storms in Florida Yesterday. Check out the pictures here
We were very lucky at UCF (knock on wood). Hopefully there's something we can do to help.