A look back at a season full of rowing

Heath Gordon

It was a good year for Lawrence crew. The spring season began during spring break at a training camp in South Carolina, the end of which culminated in a scrimmage between all the schools that attended.
The men’s boat was made up of Ben Kraemer, Jeff Lindholm, Daniel Martin and Heath Gordon and was coxed by Veronica Krysiak.
Although they raced against the all the teams, the men were separated from the pack during the races. They still managed to beat Northwestern in the first two races, however, and tied them in the final one.
The women’s team suffered many unintentional hardships over the course of the year. They shifted between coaches, ending up with former Lawrence rower Bryan Schnettler. As well, there were many lineup changes because of prior commitments.
They ended up with a lightweight women’s boat consisting of Amy Hollister, Megan Whitmore, Stephanie Martin and Kristina Nockleby, and was coxed by Kelsey Lutz. The women beat Northwestern during one race at spring break, lost the next and tied the third.
Over the course of the season, there was an open-weight boat that had a constantly shifting lineup and a pair consisting of Theresa Ragsdale and Lisa Cornelius.
The first official race was a regatta in Green Bay where the men’s boat cleaned up against St. Norbert, the lightweight women took second in an open weight race, and the open weights came in last.
The men’s team also did well against St. Thomas at an unofficial race in Minnesota.
The teams then split up, sending the men’s team to Madison where they easily made it into the finals. There they were hoping to post a good enough time to make it to the national collegiate men’s rowing championship, but their time following the Wisconsin boats was not close enough.
The women’s team went back to Minnesota to participate in the Northstar Invitational Regatta. The lightweight women swept the field, crossing the finish line 10 seconds ahead of all the other boats while only rowing with half the rowers due to an equipment problem. The pair did not do as well as expected.
The next weekend the men went to Chicago to win duels against Northwestern and Marquette University.
Going into the final regatta, optimism was not high as the open-weight women were not going to be able to row. In addition, an injury in the men’s boat, which was in a position to medal, was probably going to prevent them from rowing. However, both the pair and the lightweight women were in a good position to win medals.
Because of other teams scratching from races, the open-weight women were able to row and placed first in their heat. The lightweight women placed out of heats, got out of the semifinals, and placed fourth in their class in the finals.
The lightweight pair came out swinging, winning their heat and placing second in the semifinals and winning the bronze medal in the finals. The men did not row.
This was the first time that any Lawrence University boat had made it to finals, and it was the first medal from this large regatta.
The team is graduating only Hollister from the lightweight women’s boat and Krysiak and Lindholm from the men’s boat, so the team is optimistic to begin next year’s season.