Imagine your usual Saturday morning at 6 a.m. It’s freezing out, barely light and you are most likely fast asleep or passed out. While you are warm in your bed, the UVM crew team is hard at work on the Lamoille River getting ready for their spring 2010 season.
The team had a good showing at the New England Conference Championships last spring, where they came away with gold in men’s varsity and women’s novice, as well as taking silver in men’s novice making a serious statement throughout the conference.
This momentum was carried into the fall season where the Cats medaled in several of the season’s races. With spring fast approaching, the Cats show no signs of slowing down.
Over spring break, the crew team took 56 of its members to Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Ga., the site of the 1996 Olympic Games. This week of training not only got the Cats back into racing shape, but it also allowed the team to work on their racecourse technique on the pristine waters.
“We have good connections between the coxswains and rowers already, we are like the brain and they are the muscles, however we have yet to hit our peak,” Katie Lane, one of the men’s team’s coxswains said.
The season began last weekend with a preliminary race against Tufts.
The season picks up quickly from there, with an upcoming race against Franklin Pierce, Middlebury,Conference Championships and the Dad Vail Regatta, which hosts 1500 athletes.
However, despite the success of the crew team, which has more than 60 members, the team gets little funding from the SGA and has to do a lot of its own fundraising in order to keep up with the competition of more well-funded and NCAA-sanctioned teams.
The team holds a row-athon, a fundraising event, every year and post ads in local papers for rent-a-rower, where someone can “rent” one of the crew team members for hired labor.
To explain the incredible work ethic and dedication of the crew team, Katie Lane said, quite simply, “we just love the water.”