May 24, 2012
The Rowing Team Blogs From New Jersey
Blog Post #1
From Annie McCormick
Tuesday May 22, 2012 – Wednesday May 23, 2012
Our party, consisting of eleven rowers and coxswains from the Women's Crew team, took off yesterday for Mercer County, New Jersey. Three weeks since our last race and the end of finals meant that excitement, energy and rested spirits filled the air. Not to mention, we were all feeling a responsibility to fly out East and throw down. After our last regatta as a full women's team we began preparing to have two Eights represent the West Coast. When the NCAA announced the bids on May 14th we were all taken aback to learn that only 12 women and a reduced coaching staff would be able to make the journey. One maroon boat to rep them all, now that's pressure. The coaches, teammates and fellow West Coast teams who couldn't come are counting on us to deliver a message. To kick off this mentality, we made sure everyone in the Sea-Tac, Midway and Philadelphia airports knew where we were heading and that we meant business.
Upon landing in Philadelphia our West Coast blood and hair went into culture shock. Humidity, cigarette smoke and flashing lights were some of our first ever experiences of the East Coast. To our great delight however, the hotel is an expansive property with large staircases, custom NCAA rowing key cards, and conference rooms for our boat meetings. Unfortunately, we were not aware of the helicopter-landing pad that is available and so did not plan accordingly. In the future we will know to make use of such amenities! After a delayed plane and late arrival to the hotel, we kicked off our jet lag with an early morning breakfast among the other teams. We felt like the new kids on the block.
Before heading to the racecourse we put on our business faces for a boat meeting and sipped the complementary water.
Your trusty alternates and bloggers of the day diligently took notes and made the appropriate phone calls.
Finally, to Lake Mercer we went! Luckily for our coach and official trailer driver, Marsa Daniel, Western Washington University delivered our maroon Vespoli, The Resonance, and our oars. Unfortunately, the blocks to which we tie down our boats each night were left in Montana. Quick ingenuity and a hint of desperation helped us recover from that. Our hearty northwestern spirit helped us recover from this…
I know I sure didn't get enough rain all winter! A little downpour couldn't throw off our mood, but a crack of thunder kept us off the water for about 30 minutes. As the sun came out, a line of boats formed, all poised to pounce on one of the two tiny docks.
This gives a new meaning to traffic jam, but it also gave a chance for all of us to think about the goal of the afternoon. Our practice plan was meant to work out the kinks that come with 6 hours on a 747. Clean finishes, hinging shoulder joints and taking in the surroundings was the name of the game.
And finally…soaking wet, unsure of the time zone, wishing we'd taken a helicopter, WE WERE READY TO ROW!