By Tina Schrage
The Lawrence University Crew team traveled to the University of Minnesota to compete in their second and last regatta of the term, the Northstar Challenge Regatta. Their first regatta was hosted by St. Norbert College against smaller club teams like St. Norbert College, Northern Michigan University and Marquette University. Their second regatta was against larger teams like the University of Minnesota, University St. Thomas, Macalester College and St. Cloud State University.
The Northstar Challenge Regatta was the novice team’s first. The men’s novice team finished one minute behind the men’s varsity team, while the women’s novice team was about two minutes behind the women’s varsity team. The best finish, however, came from the varsity mixed boat, which finished third with a time of 20:53.
“Compared to our first regatta, I felt like there was such a difference in our second one,” sophomore and Captain Maria Mankin said. “The last minute of the race is when you have to go your hardest and put the most pressure in.” She added, “It felt 10 times better and that is a product of focusing better in practice and going the extra mile.” In the fall, the crew team competes in distance races that are five kilometers in length. To row continuously for that distance and keep time with others in the boat, stamina and concentration are required. “Rowing tests your physical ability and endurance,” Mankin stated. “It can be mentally tiring because you are doing the same actions.” Mankin compares it to running due to the repetitive motions and the distance over which one competes.
The crew team lost seven seniors last year, but added 30 novices to the roster. The varsity team currently has 20 people. “It’s fun to watch the progress of a boat. If the same four people practice, you can see the improvement and you can feel it in the boat,” sophomore and Coxswain Emily Teerink said. Boats are out twice a day for training. Practices last about two and a half hours, but only 40 minutes of that time is spent working on the water.
One of the most important parts of rowing is having a coxswain that can call the time for the rowers in the boat as well as encourage everyone during a race. Teerink is one of two coxswains on the team along with senior Cameron Murdock.
“As a coxswain, it is really exciting to compete,” Teerink commented. “I am doing my best to push them to do their best as a boat, but I am also watching the other boats in our race and it has such a competitive nature to it. I want us to pass the other boats. I do not want to be passed. I am constantly pushing them forward, especially in competition.”
As the season winds down for the crew team, they begin focusing on Winter Term. Fall Term is based around training for distance regattas. There are no regattas during Winter Term, but the team still practices at least four times a week and it is still just as demanding if they were to be competing. Spring Term is focused on sprints and shorter regattas.
“The time commitment has to be above average if you really want to get [better] and if you want to have successful regattas,” Mankin said. “You get what you put in.” The crew team will continue to train in order to have a successful spring season.