Monday, March 26, 2007

Radcliffe Press Release

Harvard athletics published a nice press release on the Radcliffe lights. Some highlights:

- Five returning seniors
- Three rowers participated in a U23 camp last summer
- Freshmen dominated in the fall (did we mention that here once or twice?)

The most significant fact for me is the participation of three athletes in the U23 sculling camp. I know the sweep rower ethos, because at one point I drank the Kool-Aid along with everyone else - scullers are pansies, they're loners, they think technique is important, their catches are too soft, they're too in control. Uh-huh. Keep thinking those thoughts as as you suck down their wake. Those of you who are only sweep rowers don't believe me now, but to learn to scull well is to learn to move a boat. While sweep "hammers" wrench in oars, throw their bodies around the boat, and burst veins in their necks, scullers impassively turn pain into poetry while defying observers to know the difference between the paddle and full pressure by anything other than boat speed. Why? Because they know that any errant movement will upset the balance of a boat, that any wasted energy will come back to haunt you when you are the only engine. Don't get me wrong, I like to jump into the engine room of an eight and whale on the oar as much as the next person, but if you can scull, you can make any boat go fast. If you look back at my summer nationals post, you'll see the names of those Radcliffe rowers mentioned. (UCF had two rowers sculling at Nationals while Princeton and Bucknell each had one. And don't forget Bucknell's fall sculling program.) I'll get down off of my soapbox now, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Speaking of warning, I said before that when Radcliffe meets Princeton on April 28th it will be a 1 vs. 2 race. This will be Princeton's first race with any of last year's top three crews, while Radcliffe will have won Knecht (not a particularly bold call, assuming Wisco has their usual slow start). This may very well be Princeton's first wake up call of the year and the rest of their season will depend on how well they handle it.


Anonymous said...

so will this group of frosh. have the opportuinty to stay together through sprints or will some be moved to the varsity?

JW Burk said...

Good question. We know one or two frosh were moved up last year, but I guess we'll get an idea when we see them race.