Rowing team discovers joy of teamwork, waking up very early

Staff Writer

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This year’s rowing team is comprised of 25 hard-working and extremely disciplined students. This dedicated bunch practices six days a week, resting Sundays.

Waking up for practices as early as 5:30 a.m. is no easy task, but it is necessary when competing against the likes of Rice University, Baylor University and the University of Texas at Austin.

Despite this difficult competition, the team got off to a good start this season in their first regatta called the ‘Head of Brazos,’ as newcomers got their first opportunity to display their skills and hard work.

“It is a regatta we throw our new rowers into so they can see how a regatta runs and get the nerves out about racing,” Club President Mark Denman said. “Some boats did very well, beating out more experienced UT boats, while others got solid experience with the level of fitness the sport takes.”

This first regatta is also important because it allows the team to compete together and grow as a unit, so that they can become more synchronized out on the water.

This cohesion is necessary, as it is what sets rowing apart from other team sports. as rower Garrett Martin noted.

“In rowing, you cannot fake someone out and score a touchdown,” he said. “You cannot be an individual; you must be one with the boat.”

However, while rowing may have a strong team emphasis, it is not for the faint of heart, as athletes must exhibit strong levels of commitment and discipline.

“Hilltoppers that stick with rowing tend to be of the more disciplined and higher achieving variety,” Denman said. “Crew doesn’t want a large roster, we want a quality one.”

Because of the difficult nature of the sport, the club offers a one-week trial period each semester, so students who are new to the sport can get a feel for it and determine if it is something they want to stick with.

While rowing may require an extreme amount of hard work and dedication, it is not without its rewards.

“Getting yourself up is always the hardest part,” rower Sarah Longer said. “But it is all worth it when you get to see the beautiful sunrises alongside of some of the most hardworking people you know.”

As a club that is always growing and evolving, they are also working towards competing against larger and more established universities.

In order to accomplish this, the rowing team is looking to expand their fundraising efforts. They hope in the future to be able to travel further for regattas and have the best equipment.

However, the team will get to stay close to home for their next regatta on Oct. 25, the “Pumpkin Head” at Lady Bird Lake.