Amongst the many hardworking club athletes here at Lawrence, members of the Lawrence University Rowing Club share a passion for their unique, yet challenging sport. To be able to succeed in rowing—or crew—all rowers must act together.
“The difference between crew and other sports is, because you’re in a boat with other people, how well you do is dependent on how well the people in the boat can work together,” said senior Will Melnick. “Everyone is working in time and rowing together, so you need to be perfectly in sync with the rest of the boat in terms of technique, speed, and power.”
As a result, the crew team works extremely hard in practice and develops a close bond in order to achieve this perfect sync.
The crew team competes during two seasons: the fall and the spring. The fall consisted of the longer races that reach up to five kilometers in length. For these races, each boat has a team that competes individually. After that, the times are compared and the boat with the fastest time wins the race.
The spring consists of shorter two-kilometer races. For these races, boats compete in lanes much like a swim meet. Overall, races are divided into sections based on gender, weight and experience.
Lawrence’s crew team operates during both seasons. For the more experienced members, practice begins bright and early at 5:15 a.m. From there, the rowers will either run or bike about a mile to the boathouse located just past the dam under the College Avenue Bridge.
As the sun rises over the Fox, the rowers enter the water to practice techniques and drills to improve their rowing skills. “We like to challenge each other during practice,” recounted Melnick.
For the more novice members, practice takes place in the afternoon. “Practicing at 5:15 a.m. isn’t the easiest, and it can be sort of intimidating,” said Melnick. “Newer members practice in the afternoon, then once they find their passion they can move to the early morning practices.”
Recently, the Lawrence crew team participated in the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, where the team competed against many schools from all over the country including University of Michigan, MIT and Jacksonville. Drexel University won the competition with 41 overall points.