Rowing team prepares for spring season

The women’s varsity rowing team ended their fall semester at the Rivanna Romp in Virginia, marking successful top 10 finishes against some of the strongest teams in the country, including ACC opponents.

The regatta ended the team’s successful fall campaign, which included top five finishes against top-tier schools like Stanford and Washington State. Miami also swept the competition in an event they co-hosted with Barry University at Shane Watersports. Nova Southeastern and Florida Tech competed in the event.

“We’ve had the best results we’ve ever had,” junior Nic Saner said.

The fall semester was a practice round, with none of the races counting for official ranking. The team entered all the races they could to get as much time in the water as possible.

“Fall was a preparation for spring, to make sure we were fit and technically sound,” head coach Robbie Tenenbaum said.

Although the season does not officially begin until March 12, when the Hurricanes will host Connecticut, the team will have three more chances to prepare, including a scrimmage against Michigan at noon this Saturday in Tampa.

The focus is now on keeping the form the team showed in the fall semester throughout the spring semester.

“They have to work on staying fit and coming back in better shape and ready to hit the water going,” Tenenbaum said.

The team will face a much tougher semester, in comparison to their fall campaign, as the spring schedule includes a number of top 15 teams.

“Our goal is to go out and beat as many as possible,” Tenenbaum said.

The three team captains, Christina Crocco, Laura Cordner and Saner, will be major players in helping to achieve this goal, as their job will be to promote leadership within the team and keep the team motivated.

“It’s a new form of team leading and setting examples,” said Crocco, a sophomore.

Crocco is the team’s coxswain, which means she steers the boat during the races and must utilize a different form of training adapted to her specific role. Coxswains must stay within maximum and minimum weight requirements to keep the races fair, so she focuses on cardio, while her teammates do weights.

“Obviously I have to be as light as possible, since I’m dead weight,” Crocco said.

The three captains represent the cultural diversity on the team. Crocco is from Ontario, Cordner is from Melbourne and Saner is from Cape Town. The team also includes members from Scotland and Norway.

“The team resembles the city. [It is] very multicultural and [similar to the]melting pot of the world,” Tenenbaum said.

Tenenbaum challenges the sentiment that most athletes must have experience to be successful on the team, encouraging those interested in the sport to not be intimidated and tryout for the team.

“More than half the team is students that came to Miami, knew nothing about rowing and became successful that way,” Tenenbaum said.

The captains themselves represent a huge variety in experience. Crocco began rowing at summer camp at the early age of 9. Cordner began rowing at her school in 2000. Saner began rowing four years ago when she took up the sport as a method of rehabilitation for an injury.

“It was the only thing I could do and not affect my injury,” Saner said.

The team will look to kick off the spring semester on the right foot, as they take to the water this Saturday at 12 p.m. on Miami Beach against the University of Michigan.

General timeline of the team

1986: UM establishes club rowing
1993: UM rowing named Southeast Collegiate Team of the Year
1996: The NCAA and the University of Miami officially recognize rowing as a varsity sport.
2003: UM Women’s Novice Eight earns bronze medal at the Big East championships
2004: Miami has second-place finish at the Big East Challenge
2005: UM’s inaugural season in the ACC, team wins ACC Spring Sportsmanship Award

February 25, 2009


Debora Rubi

Senior Sports Writer

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