Hamilton rowing excited to hit the water

By Robert Berk ’20

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The Hamilton College rowing team’s first regatta is not until October, but the Continentals are already getting ready for the new season. The team is looking to build on its success from last year: in May, the Continentals competed in the 2016 National Invitational Men’s and Women’s Rowing Championships. Two clear highlights from the event were the team’s claiming a silver medal in the third-level final of the varsity eight and the men earning a bronze medal in the open fours. That day, head coach Rob Weber exclaimed, “I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for the future at the end of a spring season. I can’t wait for Sept. 13 and the first day of our fall season!” 

While the first race isn’t until October, the team has been working out during the first couple weeks on campus. When asked about the team’s goals for the year Coach Weber said, “Our goals are to continue to build the program, in terms of numbers and team culture, and to continue the momentum of the past two years.” When asked how these goals could be achieved Weber added that, “we need to integrate returning varsity members with some promising newcomers, which I think will be our biggest challenge this fall.” 

A key driver of the positive momentum over the last couple of years has been the competitive spirit of the underclassmen who are now the team’s leaders. Two key members of teams past, and this year’s captains, are Elias Clough ’17 and Oliver Magnusson ’17, both of whom have been instrumental in maintaining focus at the start of the season. Coach Weber emphasized the importance of strong leadership, saying, “I’m really looking to our team leadership structure and our seniors to have a significant positive impact on team culture. I think that if we can get that right−provide the right framework and environment−it will free the talent to emerge.” Fred Pollevick ’20 expressed excitement for the season to start, exclaiming, “I think crew provides a great opportunity for an athlete at Hamilton to try something new that most high schools don’t offer. I can’t wait to actually get in the water!” 

While the fall season is relatively short, consisting of only four races, the importance should not be downplayed. The second race of the year is arguably the biggest race – the Head of the Charles. Regardless of how these races turn out, it will be great practice, as the team will continue to build a foundation for the championship spring season. Coach Weber added that “if we can get a successful blending of returners and newcomers, we’ll be in good shape for the spring.” 

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