Michaela Brew / Sun Senior Editor

April 27, 2016

The Push to Championships: Rowing Cruises Towards End of Season

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In the midst of Cornell’s men’s and women’s rowing teams’ racing seasons, the three teams have much to look forward to at the end of the season when their most crucial races take place.

“I am really looking forward to our last race of the regular season against Dartmouth and Penn on May 30,” said senior and men’s heavyweight captain Michael Colella. “Not only will this race be incredibly competitive, but it will also be the last home regatta for the 11 seniors on the team.”

Despite the crowded schedule so far this season, senior Ellen Barrett said she’s most looking forward to the final races of the season.

“Although we race throughout the year, our main racing season is at the end of the school year and during finals,” Barrett said. “Being successful in the classroom and on the water are both extremely important for our team and it can only happen if we focus on what is most important.”

Focus is a major factor for both teams. Not only do the athletes have to concentrate on efficiently managing their time to do well academically, but they must focus on what they have spent their entire season trying to accomplish.

“As a team, our biggest challenge is to remain focused on the big picture of the Eastern Sprints and the IRA regatta,” Colella said. “Our dual season serves as a way to test our speed throughout the season, but it is our performance at the conference and national championship that are most important. We are very intentional in taking positive steps everyday to have our best race when it matters most.”

The women’s rowing team has had great success thus far this season against Ivy teams.

“The highlight of our season so far was racing Harvard and Princeton,” Barrett said. “Beating Dartmouth was also a great race, but we definitely have more to do.”

The men’s team has had highlights in other races, notably in the Goes Cup against Navy and Syracuse in mid-April.

“With wins in the Varsity, JV and 3V we were able to bring home the Goes Trophy and the Stag Cup for the third year in the row,” Colella said. “This was our first away race of the season, and we are looking to build upon this momentum as we enter our competitive racing season.”

As far as practices go, both men and women have been using them to fine tune issues and try to remain sharp for the rest of season.

“We have been lucky to have much warmer weather this year and have been on the water since the end of February,” Colella said. “As we enter racing season, practices are more focused on short and intense pieces compared to the longer workouts we do in throughout the year.”

This is more effective in keeping the athletes well rested and on top of their game for their races.

“Practices for us have been pretty solid,” Barrett said. “I think we’ve spent a lot of time figuring out changes we can make to have the fastest boat race at Ivy Championships which is ultimately our goal.”

As the men’s side prepares for Eastern Sprints and the IRA Regatta, the women’s side looks to the Ivy Championships and the NCAA Championships.

“What I’m looking forward to in the rest of the season is to have some aggressive races and to scare teams,” Barrett said. “I think we have found some new speed and I am excited to see what we can do with it.”