Little-known crew team looks to compete in near future

They can be seen braving the elements just to get in a routine run around campus. You’ll find them sweating in the gym day in and day out for hours on end. And when the time comes, they’ll be ready.

Like the other club sports here at the College, most people have heard of the Lions Crew club team but few people actually know much about it.

Also known as rowing, crew is a physically demanding sport that utilizes lower body as well as upper body strength. It has also been referred to as the ultimate team sport.

Lions Crew members rigorously occupy ergometers (commonly known as rowing machines) located in the Recreation Center to not only enhance and complement their workouts, but also to develop stronger techniques.

“The distinguishing characteristic from other sports would be the team-oriented aspect of crew,” sophomore Michael Hohenwarter said. “You gotta know exactly what your other guys are pulling and what they are capable of.” This year has been Hohenwarter’s first as a member of the crew team.

Rowing boats reflect upon the two forms of rowing, sweep rowing and sculling. In sweep rowing each rower moves an oar (about 12.5 ft or 3.9 m long).

In sculling, a rower uses two oars called sculls, (each about 9.5 ft or 3m long). A hull on a crew boat is so light that it is referred to as a shell.

The person who steers the boat is usually referred to as a coxswain, and usually is seated at the rear of the boat so that he or she may see the crew.

The bow is the rower seated closest to the bow of the boat and the stroke sits near the stern. The stroke’s responsible for setting the boats’ pace and rhythm.

The other rowers are seated according to weight and strength.

The team here at the College only has one eight-person sweep boat and has yet to compete against another school this academic year, but is optimistic that this will eventually change. After all, this is only the second year of the club’s existence.

Although the group has assigned captains, positions on the team have not been assigned yet.

“Having one boat will make it difficult when we are on the water because there will not be enough time for everyone on both the men’s and women’s team to practice adequately,” co-captain Josh Bank said.

“But with time, we will definitely plan on purchasing more boats. However, due to the cost of the boats, it will take us some time to raise enough money for even one more boat. Hopefully, by next year we will be able to start looking for a second boat,” he added.

“Without a doubt, we plan on competing against other teams. We probably will not race other teams until at least next year,” Bank said. “The club is still trying to get everything we need to get on the water and start training for competition, so I feel if we raced any sooner than next spring, we would not be physically or fundamentally prepared for it.”

Like most other athletic units at the College and in general, the members of the crew club have built strong friendship as a result of all the time they spend together.

“Spending so much time with each other at practices and such, I have strengthened the bonds I already had with many of my friends on the team,” co-captain Vanessa Wolkovitsch said. “However, I have met some wonderful new people and have developed excellent relationships with them as both friends and as teammates.”

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