The men’s rowing team attacks the river during a recent practice. They will start their season this coming spring. (Photo courtesy of LC Pioneers)

Rowing team starts strong

An overview of the current Lewis & Clark rowing season

By ABE FIELD

Blades in the water. Arms and  legs tense in anticipation. With a  sudden push of power, the boat  jumps out to begin the race. The Pioneer  crew has begun their training for the  fall racing season, and the team has just  gotten back into the swing of not only  the boat, but the demanding rowing  schedule as well.

This year, the rowing team is its largest size in the history of the program.  This is in part due to the large freshmen  class. This season, the men’s program  will have 24 rowers, including varsity  and novice, and the women’s team will  have 28 members, 20 varsity and eight  novice. These rowers will compete in  races of up to 5,000 meters this season,  and 2,000 meters in the spring.

I spoke to one of the new first-years,  Maggie Coit ’19, a coxswain for the  men’s team. During her first few days  with the team, Coit felt welcomed by  the returning rowers. “It is a great  atmosphere in the boathouse, and with  the rowers on and off the water,” Coit  explains. As a coxswain, it is Maggie’s  job to steer the boat, to execute the race  plan, and to motivate her rowers for 20  minutes of pure pain. “I’m really the  in-boat coach during the race,” Coit says  with a laugh. Coit rowed for all of high  school, so the challenges of being a cox- swain are not new to her at all. In fact,  Coit will be the coxswain of the men’s  varsity 8 in their first race this Saturday  (Oct. 18).

The rowing schedule is incredibly  demanding for students who choose to  row. According to Charlotte Copp ’18,  “[the team] spends over 18 hours a week  practicing,” which can be quite a commitment. Rowers must learn to balance  their academic lives, rowing lives, and  social lives, but with so little free time,  this is quite difficult.

This fall, the crew team has two  races, also known as regattas. One of the  regattas will be at American Lake, this  Saturday, Oct. 18th. If students or faculty wish to see the crew races this season,  they will have their opportunity to cheer  on the Pioneers at the second regatta of  the fall. That race is held on the follow- ing Saturday (Oct. 24) on the Willamette River. According to the team, the  best spot to watch the race will be the  Sellwood Riverfront Park. When asked  about the future of his rowing program,  Head Coach Sam Taylor said “based on  the number of rowers and the talent we  have, honestly, I’m excited.”

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