April 18, 2002

Crews Will Strut Their Stuff Come Race Time

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In rowing, there is great discrepancy between training for competition and racing live competition. The effects of months of training will be unleashed upon our opponents over the next couple of weekends.

Luckily for the Cornell heavyweights, we have put in the necessary training to produce speed at all levels. Maybe too much speed. Over the past week the varsity and JV have been trading racing pieces during practice.

Team depth is an asset. Having a training partner of equal caliber is invaluable. Reacting to different stresses over and over again can only make one stronger, provided one doesn’t crack. While it would be easy to get sour about the whole situation, hopefully, we can look at what has transpired thus far as a source of inspiration and/or as a source to make us hungrier to gain more speed.

I don’t want to recall last year too much, but I feel that much of our success came from the fact that we were hungry underdogs and had no real idea of how fast we truly were. We lacked a certain baseline for measurement. So we internally pushed ourselves to get faster, and we got faster.

Last year’s racing was pure. Just lining up against an opponent and fighting it out with everything we had. There was something carnal and manly about it all.

Trading pieces to a boat that we should not be trading pieces with really tests our mettle. In addition, racing thus far this year against Georgetown, Michigan, and our intrasquad racing have kept us hungry. Getting back to the basic caveman desire to just beat the crap out of someone else because they are trying to take something away from you is the resultant effect.

From here on out our schedule is devoid of “cupcakes” and real stiff competition comes to Ithaca this Saturday as we race Syracuse and Navy for the Goes Trophy. The Saturday after that we race in our biggest regular season race of the year against Princeton and Yale in the Carnegie Cup.

In order to defeat our competition over the upcoming weekends we are going to have to draw on our experiences thus far and race with passion and a burning desire to get across the line before the opponents.

Our practices have been mixed blessings, but from the character that many of the guys have on the team, I have faith in our ability to pull it out when it counts the most. We will race one race at a time, focusing on the next piece, practice, opponent, ignoring what has happened prior because all of that is secondary to the present task at hand: defending the Goes Trophy.

Archived article by Donald Lee