Fall preview – Crew out to break personal, team records

In rowing the term PR stands for personal record. And the men’s and women’s crew teams are looking to set new ones for the 2000-01 season in order to improve on last year’s outstanding finish.

Last spring the Colonial women placed second at A-10’s and 14th at Eastern Sprints. A silver medal at the National Intercollegiate Rowing Championships highlighted the men’s season. The crew teams’ major season is the spring, so the fall is used as an intense training period with a focus on improving for the grueling spring season.

Steve Peterson will begin his fifth year as the varsity women’s coach. Peterson, who is a former Olympic and national team rower, was named A-10 Coach of the Year last spring. Peterson says this fall season the women will concentrate mostly on building strength, power and confidence for the spring season.

His goal for the fall is to be more competitive.

This year there are 10 to 12 people who have a shot at a seat in the first boat, Peterson said. This is different because last year the top rowers for the first varsity eight were clear cut.

Peterson noted that the women’s team is relatively young with 17 sophomores out of 32 total members. Peterson will look to senior captains Megan Doyle and Sara McClellan to provide leadership on the young team. Some would think that having such a young team would be a disadvantage, but Doyle said otherwise.

It’s good that we have so many sophomores moving up to the varsity level, Doyle said. This year’s sophomores row really well so they will be a huge asset to the team.

Peterson credits much of the success of the sophomores to returning novice coach Angela Hart. Hart will return for her third year as a coach at GW after a very successful 1999-2000 season in which her novice women captured three gold medals at the A-10 Rowing Championship. She will look to a mix of both experienced and new rowers to continue the success of the novice program.

The varsity men’s crew team is hoping to improve upon its outstanding performance from last year. Gene Kininmonth returns for his first full year as head coach after taking over halfway through last season.

In 1989, Kininmonth was a member of the Australian National Rowing Team and a member of the Monash University varsity eight, which won at the Australian Collegiate Rowing Championships. Kininmonth will look to team captain Brendan Gilbert to lead the team to success. Also, the five returning members of the varsity eight – Dave Espinoza, Jamey Dellinger, Pat McLaughlin, Mike Riegelman and Beldon Schroeder – will have to step up to lead the team.

The main focus of the fall season for the men is to build a better cardiovascular base and to increase strength. Team members said they believe hard work in the fall will pay off with another medal at Nationals.

Members of the team said having Kininmonth as coach for the entire season will greatly benefit the team and will help them to improve upon last season

Our toughest opponent is ourselves, Espinoza said. We are trying to beat ourselves by going all out all season long.

The novice men’s team is under the leadership of new head coach and former GW rower Matt Boyle, who coached at the University of North Carolina last season. The team looks at the fall season as a learning period and as a time to improve technique and develop physical strength needed to defeat rivals such as Georgetown.

Both the men and women’s teams will open their fall seasons with the Head of the Potomac Saturday. This will be the first chance to see the 2000-2001 crew teams race down the Potomac as they begin there quest to rewrite the record book.

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