October 15, 2007

Rowers Tune Up for Competitive Season

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The men’s and women’s rowers competed in the Schwartz Cup on Lake Cayuga this past Saturday, where athletes, alumni and friends gathered for the annual intra-squad races that open the crews’ seasons. The race and its festivities served as both a team-bonding experience and a tune-up for the start of the competitive season.
Seven different crews raced: the varsity and novice heavyweights, lightweights and women’s squads, and the alumni. Altogether, the intra-squad race had 21 boats that competed.
Performances were impressive, with the sophomore men’s varsity heavyweight boat taking first place and the women’s senior boat finishing first among the female competitors.
“The Schwartz Cup is about a team bonding event, where all of the teams can get together and just enjoy each other’s company, have a nice day with the alumni and have a nice race right before we get into the Fall racing season,” said senior Eleanor Bucholz. “It’s nice for the classes to come together and have a little intra-squad rivalry between one another.”
The Schwartz Cup doesn’t just facilitate friendly competition however — it also gives some of the rowers the opportunity to work with a good mix of athletes.
“There was a fair balance,”said rookie Justin Feirman. “My boat consisted of half recruits, and half walk-ons … and we ended up winning our group and placing 10th out of 21st overall.”
The Schwartz Cup has been a part of history in Ithaca for years, and is a chance for the crews to not only come together and tune up, but also have a little bit of fun in the process.
Festivities start off with light-hearted skits by each of the boats, which are generally separated by class year. The Schwartz family, which helped establish the event, has judged this event since it’s inception.
“This year had a Disney theme: we had The Little Mermaid, the seven dwarfs [from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs], Beauty and the Beast” Bucholz said. “The costumes usually get pretty elaborate. That’s what we pride ourselves on. … The junior varsity women just barely beat out the senior varsity women with their Beauty and the Beast skit. Although, there was a little bribery going on there — they made muffins and cookies for the Schwartz’s.”
“We could’ve put a little more preparation into our skit because you get an award for that too,” Feirman said.
Aside from the racing and skits, sections of a retired lightweight boat were auctioned off — one of the sections sold for over $3,000 — and a new boat was christened.
“We have the Head of the Charles next weekend, and so it’s nice to make the final improvements to the boat right before we’re about to go and start our real racing season,” Bucholz said.