Showing posts from May, 2013

IRA National Championship Regatta, 2013: RR Picks and Predictions

111th IRA Regatta begins tomorrow (Photo: B. Kitch) The 2013 IRA National Championship Regatta is set to kick off tomorrow morning, bright and early on the West Coast in Sacramento—temperatures (and anxiety levels) are high, with national titles and (perhaps even more importantly) bragging rights on the line. Here is our take on just what'll happen this weekend, when oars meet water. Heavyweights The 'Top Dawg' at this regatta is Washington , and for very good reason. So far this season, they haven't done anything to suggest that they've loosened their vise-grip on men's varsity rowing, with the possible exception of the varsity fours race at Pac-12s. So, we're taking the Washington Huskies to win the men's varsity eight again this year. Harvard  is our pick for second place, and enter the regatta after an undefeated season and a convincing win at Sprints—the Crimson may be the only ones who can throw down a challenge to Washington this weekend. R

NCAA Rowing Championships, 2013: RR Picks and Predictions

The 2013 NCAA Championships are set to take over Eagle Creek Park, Indiana, and it just wouldn't be us if we didn't express an opinion or two regarding what we're expecting to see out there on the water. Here's our analysis going into the racing this weekend: Division I California was our preseason No. 1 , and California is our favorite to win the NCAA team championship. The Golden Bears' varsity four and second varsity eight have been very quick all year, and in our opinion Cal's varsity four may be the best in the country. The only question this weekend in Indianapolis will be, can the varsity eight get the job done? The Golden Bears will likely have a new lineup this weekend following a surprise third place finish at the Pac-12 Championships behind No. 1 USC and then No. 5 Washington—while we feel it's unlikely that Cal will win the varsity eight event, we're confident that they'll be enough in contention with the top crews to earn the Bears

Evening Edition Video Of The Week: Washington versus Cal on the Montlake Cut

This week's video showcases the No. 1 University of Washington Huskies in their annual dual with then No. 2 California—a dogfight of a race that featured a significant lead change through the final 500m, and which further solidified the Huskies' early season ranking. (NB: you'll have to forgive the Rihanna club remix music—we're pretty sure it's thrown in to cover the voice of the coxswain.) Now, we've reached the business end of the racing season, with ACRAs already in the books for collegiate club programs, NCAAs set to take over Eagle Creek Park, Indiana, and the IRA national championships this weekend on Lake Natoma, outside Sacramento, California. And, you know what that means...yes, it's time for another round of prognostication on our parts! More to come... In the meantime, here are the most recent coaches' polls: NCAA women's rowing IRA men's & lightweight women's rowing Want to suggest the next 'Video Of The Week?&

ACRA National Championships, 2013: RR Picks and Predicitions

Better late than never! The 2013 ACRA National Championships are nearly underway on Lake Lanier, Georgia, with expanded, eight-lane finals sure to make for exciting racing once again this year. Here are our thoughts on what'll happen this weekend: Men's Varsity Eight Virginia Michigan State Michigan Cavalier seniors Scott Stuard and Jonathan Furlong will be looking to set the record straight after a sixth place finish at Dad Vails, while Michigan State's Mike Slopsema  and the Spartans are hoping to back up their excellent performance in Philadelphia with more hardware in Gainesville. Wolverine junior Louis Schaljo and the Michigan men's varsity eight are coming off a win at ECACs, and Grand Valley, led by RR interviewee Justin Wegner , has a tough squad, and more experience than last year's campaign—the Lakers will be battling for a podium finish this year after just missing at ACRAs in 2012. Women's Varsity Eight Grand Valley Purdue UCSB S

Championship Weekend: Recap and Review

Washington takes the MV8 at Pac12s (Photo: © Madeline Davis) Conference championship weekend has come and gone, and the invitees for the 2013 collegiate national championships have been announced. Before the racing last weekend, we feel back into our old habit of shooting our mouths off about who might be taking top honors across many of the major conferences—and now, it's time to see just how those picks and predictions turned out.

Video Of The Week: The 2013 Ivy League Rowing Championships

This week's (slightly delayed) video comes to us from the Ivy League Championship Regatta, where the Princeton Tigers won a dominant victory in the varsity eight to claim the automatic bid for the NCAA Championships, coming up later this month in Indianapolis. The Tigers cracked the podium in every event this year, claiming bronze in the second varsity eight behind Brown and Radcliffe , and bronze once again in the varsity four— Lori Dauphiny's squad is always competitive (they were our early season No. 4 overall in February), and may just have juice to be in contention for a national title at Eagle Creek Park. Heaps more to come tomorrow from championship weekend, on both coasts, taking a look at how our picks and predictions played out on the water. (In the meantime I've been writing a piece on Sprints for ROWING Magazine , as well as a men's lightweight preview for IRAs.) Want to suggest the next 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelat

College Championship Weekend: RR Picks and Predictions, Coast to Coast

The coming weekend marks one of the most important dates in U.S. collegiate rowing, with a tremendous number of championship titles on the line all over the country. Here are our thoughts, opinions, and educated guesses as to just what will transpire when oars meet water at the Pac-12, Ivy League, Eastern Sprints, Conference USA, Big East, and Big Ten Championships—let's take a look, shall we?

Evening Edition Video Of The Week: 'Train, Guide, Win,' with Marlow Rowing Club

It's getting to be that time of year—that point in the rowing season where all the winter workouts, all the hours in the gym, all the dark morning sessions and extra weights after practice are distant memories, and championship race day is approaching. This video, which was published earlier this year by Marlow Rowing Club , gets at just what it means to put in the hours that no one sees in order to be at your best when it matters most. From the training, to the coaching, to the experience of racing, this one has it all. (And, it certainly doesn't hurt that it's arguably the most cinematic rowing film on the internet.) There have already been a number of surprises this season at both the junior and collegiate levels, with the Stanford men making their intentions clear in their annual dual with Cal , Marin and Oakland duking it out for supremacy at USRowing Southwest Junior Regionals , and Drexel defending home waters against all comers, including two-time defending

Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta, 2013: RR Picks and Predictions

The Schuylkill Course (Photo: B. Kitch) The 75th Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta kicks off today, with a ton of teams and a host of races taking over the historic Schuylkill course through Saturday afternoon. There are a number of familiar names that will likely be among the top programs once again this year on both the men's and women's sides, though there are a few upstarts that may just get your attention this weekend as well. And so, without further ado, here are our picks and predictions for the podium (warning—opinions follow):

Weekend Interviews: Craig Amerkhanian and Al Acosta of Stanford

Head coach Craig Amerkhanian addresses his team after the race (Photo: B. Kitch) For the Stanford men's rowing team, it was a (wait for it) 'red letter day' at Redwood Shores last Saturday, as the varsity eight, stroked by former junior world champion Austin Hack , showed tremendous speed against their rival Cal , nearly setting a new course record on the way to victory. The Stanford crew was just 0.7 seconds off the 5:30.5 set by Washington's IRA champion varsity eight last year, and Cal also posted their fastest time in recent memory at Redwood Shores, breaking 5:33 in a losing effort. The Stanford lightweight women's varsity crossing 1250m (Photo: B. Kitch) Earlier in the morning, Al Acosta's Stanford lightweight women's varsity eight took on a heavyweight third varsity eight from Cal, winning convincingly in a time of 6:37.9 to Cal's 6:48.2. The Cardinal have won three straight IRA titles, and are looking to be in contention for yet ano

Weekend Interviews: Mike Teti and Dave O'Neill After the 2013 Big Row

Stanford and Cal W2Vs coming through the bridge (Photo: B. Kitch)  Having returned from a difficult trip up to Seattle the previous weekend, California took to the water at Redwood Shores with a chip on their shoulder, taking on their traditional rivals on their home course. While the Cal women posted convincing victories in the NCAA events following some lineup switches—perhaps most notably moving 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Kara Kohler into the five seat—the Cal men were unable to match the speed of a resurgent Stanford varsity eight. Here are reflections on the racing from Cal head coaches Mike Teti and Dave O'Neill , following the racing on Saturday. -RR

Video Of The Week: Cal Takes on Stanford in Honor of Jill Costello

This week's video comes from Redwood Shores, where California took on Stanford in the annual dual in honor of Jill Costello . The rowing was, as usual, of a very high quality, and there were several very closely contested races and very fast times posted over the course of the day. The upset of the event came in the men's varsity eight, where No. 7 Stanford went toe-to-toe with No. 3 Cal. This time, the Cardinal got the better of their Bay Area rival, and came very close to setting a new course record in the process, crossing the line in 5:31.2 (just 0.7 seconds off the mark set by Washington last year). On the women's side, No. 2 Cal proved the faster squad, coming from behind to win the second varsity eight race, and taking the varsity eight contest in record time (6:14.7—you can watch them come across the finish line here ). The Stanford lightweight women were also in action, taking on a heavyweight crew from Cal, and Stanford showed that they will once again be in

RR Interview: NSR I Winner John Graves

John Graves training in the single (Photo via J. Graves)  The Graves family knows rowing. While older brothers Pete and Tom have raced together in the men's double representing the United States at the world championships in the past, and Pete earned a trip to London with the U.S. men's quad last summer, they're not the only ones in the family that know how to move a boat. Though John has primarily raced as a lightweight at the elite level in the past, he showed that he's got plenty of juice to step up to heavyweight at the first National Selection Regatta of 2013 , posting the fastest time in the time trial, and carrying that momentum through the regatta for a victory over an excellent field, which included Olympians Sam Stitt (Beijing) and Glenn Ochal (London). Here, John catches us up on his personal athletic background, his family's rowing legacy, and his plans for the summer. RR: How did growing up in a family of rowers shape your athletics goals?