Sept. 24, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana rowing team opened the fall slate with a scrimmage vs. Louisville on Saturday, Sept. 22 on Lake Lemon in Bloomington.
Conditions were great for the workout, which was unlike a normal regatta. Instead the two programs did two sets of racing pieces, the first in eight person crews and the second set in fours. The eights did three 8-minute pieces with set stroke rating caps between 26 and 28 strokes per minute. The fours did three 3.5-minute pieces at stroke ratings between 26-28.
The competition was a welcome and eagerly anticipated change from the normal practice routine for the student-athletes. Having the opportunity to do a workout against a good rival is always a great way to create more competition in a workout, and the student-athletes and coaches alike can learn a lot about the athletes and crews, and where they are both physiologically and technically at this point in the year.
Although no official results were kept, there were both good and bad things to take away from the workout from the coaches perspective.
"The one thing that really stood out to me was that our top athletes have picked up right where they left off last year, and that our top group of athletes is larger in number than we had last year," said head coach Steve Peterson. "We have some really good freshmen that have come in and worked their way right into the top group, which is exciting. But as great as that is, the results of our bottom crew revealed that we may not be as good with our lower level varsity as we expected to be. The gap between our top varsity and bottom varsity crews was just too big. It needs to be closer if we are going to be competitive as a team come spring time."
"I think this was a solid start for us as a team for this early stage of the season," Peterson added. "We were definitely rowing technically sound, which is great to see. But coming away from this workout, I think the two areas we need to keep on working on are our overall fitness - which as rowers we never stop doing - and our competitiveness. This being our first competition, I think the crews rowed well, but we certainly need to be able to shift up to another gear and be more aggressive. I felt we "eased into the pieces a little too much. So we are already devising different ways we can create competitive situations in practice so that the athletes become 'more comfortable' with being aggressive in race situations."
Indiana will face Louisville again, this time in a formal race environment up in Rockford, Ill., at the Head of the Rock on Sunday, Oct. 14. Louisville, along with fellow regional rivals Minnesota and Wisconsin, highlight the Hoosiers competition in three weeks.