Coach's Corner: Fall 2003 Season Recap


by Tim Marcovy, Men's Varsity Coach

Late August, 2003: After a great summer trying to soak up new coaching techniques imported over two oceans from the UK and New Zealand, I was ready and raring to get started on a new season with Case Crew. Seven returning varsity men, two former "fall novices" coming back for another try, two frosh with high school experience, and three (yes, THREE) experienced coxswains (two returnees from past years and Jeff Mann, a transfer from Purdue) all spelled out prospects for an improved year for the squad.

My two resolutions for the fall were to improve techniques so that the men would get more speed out of every stroke, and to have a lot less profanity issue forth through the megaphone from the coach's launch. I'm glad to report a 50% success rate on those resolutions. With eight returning varsity women, Chris Sheridan as Women's Coach, and Fraser Hewson as Men's Novice Coach, the crew looked set to go. Through extremely active recruiting by varsity members, novice squads of 9 women and 14 men were formed shortly after Labor Day, for a total club strength of 41, a high since Fall '94, I believe. Practices of 3 times per week for the novices and 5 times per week for the varsity were held, with results at all of our Fall regattas demonstrating improvement over 2002 in almost all categories.

In the first week of September we were awarded Case Crew's first-ever sweep boat bid at the Head of the Charles, in the Men's Club 4+. This lead to several weeks of intensive seat racing to pick the boat. And, no, for those of you who may remember the namby-pamby 700m seat races I put you through in old days, these were REAL seat races for a head race: 2000m per race. It was great fun (from the coach's launch, anyway). The result was a 4+ of Pete Whittaker(Sr), Chris Bowley (Soph), Ian Henderson (Soph), Brian Chorney (Soph) and Amanda Muskus (Sr; cox). The boat turned in a very respectable time of 19:09.172 in Boston, being 30th out of 41, and 11.52% off of the winning time. As can be seen from the lineup for the Charles boat, the varsity is very heavy with sophomores and juniors, which bodes well indeed for 2004 and 2005.

In other racing, Case crews turned in the following performances:

HEAD OF THE CUYAHOGA (9/20/03, Cleveland, OH) - Full Results
Men's open 4+: 6th and 13th of 13 (4th of 9 collegiate)
Women's open 4+: 3rd & 9th of 11 (2d of 10 collegiate)
Women's open 2-: 1st of 2
Men's open 8+: 6th of 6
In addition, Coach Hewson, rowing under the Case name, was 4th in the mixed 2x and 1st in the men's masters 2x, the latter with alum Doug Rathburn '97. SARA's own open 8+ took third in the final race of the day.

HEAD OF THE OHIO (10/4/03, Pittsburgh, PA) - Full Results
Men's club 4+: 12th & 20th of 25 (10th of 22 collegiate)
Women's club 4+: 10th of 29 (9th of 25 collegiate)
Men's club 8+: 18th of 24
Women's club 8+: 26th of 29 (24th of 27 collegiate)

SPEAKMON REGATTA (10/25/03, Columbus, OH) - Full Results
Men's open 4+: 8th & 12th of 14
Men's Nov 8+: 6th of 10
Women's 2-: 9th of 11 (1st through 5th were from Div. I OSU Women, tied for 7th at the NCAA Championships)
Women's Nov 8+: 10th of 13
Men's Nov 4+: 4th & 5th of 7
Women's open 4+: 5th of 15 (4th of 13 collegiate)
Women's open 8+: 17th of 17
Men's open 8+: 6th of 6

All squads have been hard at winter training since the beginning of November, with their eyes on the prize of bringing home the JCU/Case Hammer Ergatta trophy for the first time since 1997. Along with the grinding hours on the erg and in the weight room; studying (Rower: "What? We have to study, too? No way!" Coach [reluctantly]: "Way."); and, keeping up with that frenetic social whirl you all remember from your days at the University Circle campus (its a joke, dammit!), the crew has been extremely hard at work fundraising. The highest hurdle for the Club to overcome (besides, of course, the University's Sports Club Administration) has been the lack of a rowable 8+. The great generosity of the WRRA in loaning Case Crew equipment to race in has helped us to temporarily fill the gap. This is, however, an area in which we need improvement.

You should know that the University is taking what is perhaps the greatest interest in Case Crew since President Pytte gave us the wherewithal for our first 8+; President Hundert (a rower during his graduate study days at Oxford), actually came down to the boathouse and attended a joint practice, thanks to the efforts of the Club's president, Hillary Emer. He voiced his concern for the lack of equipment for the Club. However, this has not yet translated into any dollars beyond what the club members have raised for themselves. Which is why they, and their coaches, are immensely grateful to you, the members of SARA, for your efforts on their behalf.

I'm looking forward to a very successful Spring season, with the first all-UAA regatta in the planning stages. Keep an eye on the Case Crew website for the Spring schedule. Should you be in the neighborhood for any of our races, please come on down, and cheer on the crews, and say "Hi."


Summer 2003 SARA Newsletter (pdf)




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