We wanted to do a little better. But realistic expectations going into Saturday pointed to finishing at, or near these positions. We can be proud of the work we did this year, and how much we improved. We’ll keep walking that same path next year, though perhaps a little faster.
Our novice women took third in a fast field of seventeen crews. For the first time ever, Granby was ranked (by the league up in northern Virginia) going into the event, reflecting our well-earned reputation for quality novice crews. And the WN4+ rose to the pressure of expectations, confirming that Granby novices go north to row fast and win medals. In heats, they took first over boats from much larger programs.
In finals, they extended their margin over the crew they defeated in heats by being the only team to go faster during their their second 1500m of the day.
The Junior 8 and Junior 4 did well. We’ve never placed so high in these categories. Our optimism must be tempered by the knowledge that this regatta was small, and some of the fastest teams were no there. But it’s a great step forward.
The Varsity 4s had bad races. Both crews could have gone faster. We’ll work on that.
Our performance today at HOTO was a satisfying way to end the fall season.
The women went first. This video shows most of the event of 26 boats. Sorry about the bad focus with the nearer leaves. We show up at 7:37. While filming, it’s impossible to tell which boat we are in the tiny camera screen (even at 20x zoom), so the coaches use binoculars. When I guess at boats being us, that’s by naked eye. It takes us a while to find you.
How did we do? The women placed 21st, but that doesn’t tell us much. The number we always use for year-to-year comparison (because conditions on the river change) is percent-behind-first. This year our time was 1.166 times that of first, so we were 16.6% back. Our best percent ever was 9.1% (13th) in 2012. Our best place ever was 11th in 2017, 11.6% back. Considering how young we are, we did really well.
The men got slotted-in at the back of the “lower” fours after a week of trying to salvage the 8. Considering they only rowed in that lineup once before Sunday, I’m satisfied with how it went. The percent-behind-first can’t be compared because we should have rowed with the “upper” fours. With all the illness, we were just luck to race.
To provide similar data to the women’s event, our best percent and finish ever came in 2017. We were 10th, 9.2% back. That crew had 7 seniors, and junior, and a sophomore. Even if we made huge progress, I don’t think we can beat that boat next year. But maybe we can in two years.
I only have two big regrets. First, the men didn’t get to race in the 8 and set a benchmark to previous seasons. The second is how many varsity didn’t get to race after all there work to get there. Get some rest during the dead period, and come back ready to chase those past crews.
Looking for a sport for the fall, winter, and/or spring season(s)? Consider rowing. No prior experience is needed. There are no try-outs. There are no cuts. If you’ve got the drive and enthusiasm to keep up with us, we’ll help you become a competitive athlete. If you practice with us, you’ll race with us. We have a full year’s training planned (calendar is here).
Need convincing? Look at how well the new athletes did last year (posted below). Perhaps some past highlights will motivate you. Want more info? Start your reading here. There’s lots more info here. Want to ask questions? Come see us at freshmen orientation. If you’re worried this is a water sport, don’t be.
Want to improve your endurance? We do plenty of that. Want to lift? We do that too. Want to win races? We’ve done that at the Regional and State level. Want to learn while you train? Scroll down the posts below as far as 13Mar2020 to appreciate our emphasis on teaching and learning. Want a college athletic scholarship? Women have a better shot than almost all other sports; sorry men, it’s very rare for you.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are priorities for our team. I think we do an ok job on the last two, but we’ve never been as diverse as our school. It’s a failure I’d like to correct; thus, we’ll keep working on DEI. I’m not sure this addition will help recruiting, but it’s still worth saying.
Virginia Scholastic Rowing Championships is always a tough place to medal, and our novices met that challenge once again; very impressive (especially for the women, since three of their athletes only tried crew for the first time in February). For those unfamiliar with rowing filmed from this angle, the action gets exciting around 3:30. Of course if you’re in the boat, it’s exciting the whole 6-7min.
They looked good in heats too. Hopefully this performance helps us recruit a big group of novices for next year. We want many more student athletes to have this opportunity.
Team priority #2 is safesport (#1 is safety). The video below enables that priority. Safesport is about treating each other with respect and kindness. And how we interact often starts with how we speak. It’s worth taking some notes, and really thinking about the points being made, because this isn’t just about safesport. Quality speech is a key skill for coxswains, captains, teammates, etc. Want to do well in future job interviews? Speech is vital. Enjoy talking with friends? Improve the conversations you have. Oh… one more thing… notice how the video ends with speaking AND listening. If you want people to listen to you, start by listening to them. That’s safesport too.
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