March 28, 2008

Red Will Open Season on Two Coasts This Weekend

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Men’s heavyweight rowing has already gotten its spring started off on the right foot, or should I say oar, by getting invited to compete in the prestigious Pac-10 Invitational in San Francisco.
“We’re thrilled to get invited to the Pac-10 Invitational this year,” said senior heavyweight captain Dan Holodnik. “These teams don’t see us too often and they don’t know what to expect. We have something to prove.”
The Red will be sending its top-2 varsity boats to the tournament, which is also called the Windermere Classic, and competing against teams such as Stanford on Saturday and California on Sunday.
[img_assist|nid=29205|title=Like riding a bike|desc=The men’s heavyweight crew rows at the Syracuse Invitational in Nov., before a four-month layoff.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“This is a pretty big stage to start our season on,” Holodnik said. “The guys are feeling plenty of emotions from confidence to nervousness to eagerness. But it’s more excitement than anything else.”
Men’s lightweight as well as the 3rd varsity boat of men’s heavyweight will start off their spring season by competing in their own backyard at the Ithaca Regatta.
“This is a good place to get some experience,” said senior lightweight captain Matt Kochem. “This is our first meet together since the fall and it’s a great way to warm up for the season.”
Lightweight had strong showings during their fall season including a second-place finish by the lightweight 8 in the Princeton Chase as well as a fifth place finish by the lightweight 4.
The Red finished 2nd overall at the Belly of the Carnegie in Princeton, N.J., which includes the overall performance in men’s heavyweight eight, lightweight eight and women.
Men’s lightweight has won back-to-back national championships the past two seasons and the Ithaca Regatta is going to be a great test to see if the team is headed for a three peat.
“We feel pretty confident. For the varsity boat we have 4 guys coming back from the National Championship team last year,” Kochem said. “We want to three peat this year. We know we have the raw materials, we just need to make sure we piece everything together.”
Men’s heavyweight is also able to feed off of positive results in the fall portion of their season including a win by the varsity 4 in the A flight at the Syracuse Invitational.
The Princeton Chase saw the heavyweight 4 and 8 both place in the top five of their respective events with the heavyweight 4 coming in 4th and the 8 coming in 5th.
“The fall season is important but we tend to do much better in the spring,” Holodnik said. “And that’s where it counts.”
The spring has all of the big races for lightweight and heavyweight rowing, including the IRA National Championship, but right now, both squads are trying to focus on their first spring races and starting off the season strong.
“We want good start but we also want to be able to keep improving and improving as the season goes on,” Holodnik said.