Murray State Rowing continued its successful fall semester at the Head of the Hooch this past weekend. Hooch has been growing over the years, and this year the regatta committee had to limit its number of entries. Being the largest Hooch that Hooch has ever seen, our placements in our events really says something about the competitiveness of our crew. With a shift from being a small boats program to an 8's program a year ago, the results we saw this weekend indicate that we are moving in the right direction.
Our Women's Varsity 8 placed 5th out of 17 in the Women's Club 8 event. I consider this boat a "sophomore" boat. The ladies who participated this weekend all rowed together as novice last year (with the exception of one rower). This being their second year together and placing 5th brings some good thoughts of what could happen when they are juniors and seniors.
Our Men's Novice 8 also placed 5th out of a field of 41. This is your classic brute strength over technique boat. With some cleaning up of the technique, these guys can definitely go faster. The comptition to get a seat in this boat is tough within the team which has pushed the guys to work hard the whole semester.
Our Women's Novice 8 competited in the Women's College and Club Novice division...a 50 boat field comprised of club teams and division-1 teams. These ladies placed 10th, beating a few division-1 entries. Take away the D-1 crews, and our ladies would have placed 1st. Again, as with the novice guys, the novice girls have had a good supporting "B" boat to push them at practice and to keep them working as hard as possible.
Our only medal of the weekend came from our Mixed Open 8 which placed 3rd. This gives us 19 medals on the year. But according to Coach Neely, couting our Dragon Boat first place medal, we have 20 medals on the semester. I agree with coach, 20 sounds better.
In my humble opinion, our success is hugely attributable to the depth of our team. Two novice 8's of guys and girls reduces the sense of complacency. The team knows they must work hard to keep the spot they have. The most important people on any team are your "b"/j.v./second string...whatever you want to call them. Ours have done a perfectly good job in pushing themselves and others to be faster.
This concludes our fall season. We'll now have our 2k and 5k evals, then begin cross-training in beautiful Racer Arena. I'll keep you in touch.