The News Page: 4/17/05 FLICK #4

Full Race Results, Click HERE!

By Brian Conley, Head Coach _______________________________________________________________
The Fourth Manny Flick race came with perfect weather but also a couple of flaws that were ironed out as the race day continued on. The LM crews took to the water to improve upon results and maintain some of the results that they had achieved in earlier races. This weekend saw many of Lower Merion's crews reaching for the top three spots in their races. The athletes have been pushing themselves harder and harder and the results are starting to show with the constant placing of the crews in "the medals". As a coach, it is impressive to see the whole team coming along, quickly moving up in the ranks. It is always nice to have at least one boat do very well, but not with this group of athletes that have walked into the Bachelors Barge Club this year as Lower Merion athletes. These athletes are tremendous to coach and watch as all they want to do is improve individually and as a team. There have been disappointments with not making boats and not being able to race because of it, but most of these athletes have realized that as long as they continue to work hard they get that second opportunity to race and improve. As a result of this overall effort coming to the races provides much more interest throughout the day. Watching Lower Merion fighting off hard charging sprints or making the hard charge sprint to over take a leading crew. I look forward to the medal races that are fast approaching and expect to see some hardware return to Lower Merion.

By Mike Wood, Men's Freshman Coach _______________________________________________________________
The forth Flick turned out to be a great day all around. There was good food, excellent weather and great racing results.  Along with some sunburn, I was able to catch a lot of the races and was excited by the results. It appears that all the boats performed at or exceeded the high expectations that are placed on them.  I was extremely impressed with the lightweight four and there comeback win. Having the confidence to come back in a race is huge and is one of the characteristics of a great crew.  Of course I was also happy with how my guys did in the Frosh 4 race.  They finished a hard fought race in 2nd place edging out two other boats.  I told the guys if they were within contact with any boats at the sprint to do whatever it takes to win the race, even if it meant sacrificing technique.  Well they didn’t fail at throwing technique out the window.  What I did see though was a competitiveness and intensity that can’t be taught. The technique will come with more miles on the water and race experience.  Once we combine competitiveness with good technical rowing, they’ll be flying.  So all in all it was a good weekend.  Keep up the hard work so we will continue to perform at the high level we did this weekend!

By David Greenspan _______________________________________________________________
It was another spectacular day on the Schuykill. And this crew is really maturing. The rowing gets visibly better each week, the hard work is paying off, the miles of water rowed showing in the improved timing, bladework, and overall performance. I had the chance to see every race, and follow many on my bike up and down the West river drive.

Lets start with the Women. The Frosh 8 is really coming together. It was a 4 boat race through the bridge, but LM and Prendergast moved on the field. Prendergast proved to be too much for our ladies in the middle of the course but they had a race on their hands with #3 Camden Catholic. By the top of the island Catholic was coming on. By the end of the island the pluck of our Frosh ladies came through as they sprinted away sealing in a second place row, a boat and a half behind Prendergast and 3/4 of a length over Camden Catholic. They had the 3rd best time for their event.

The JV 8 showed their determination across the full 1500 meters. They have lots of opportunity for improvement, never a bad thing midway through a racing season.. The Ltwt 4+ was in an amazing 3 boat race for second. As they passed the grandstands it was impossible to tell who was in front, and it remained that way through the island and across the finish line. According to the results, they came in third, 1.5 seconds out of second and 1 second ahead of 4th. I guess I should remember to breath watching races like that!

Two errors diminished this day. Our Ltwt 4+ was originally disqualified on the basis that they 'hadn't weighed in'. This was corrected by the efforts of the coaching staff who were there in the early morning to prove otherwise. The Heavy 4+ "B" boat was scratched from the schedule. As of early this afternoon, our coaching staff had no idea why or how that happened. An investigation is under way so as not to have our remaining ladies have to miss any more racing.

The Heavy 4+ looked like they were touching it up when the start was called. They were down immediately. Egg Harbor was first under the bridge, and our ladies were in 4th. But, they hung on to the tail of Peddie and wouldn't let go. Both crews moved on Baldwin that slowly dropped back. At the 1/2 it looked like the ladies were making a move, but Peddie responded in kind, so they had the same closed lenght between them at the top of the island with Egg Harbor out in front of both. That is how they finished, about a length between each, with our Ladies in 3rd and I don't doubt eager to have at both these crews again.

So what about the Men? The Frosh 4 showed superb courage, digging down deep to hold off the chaos of 3 other boats in the final 300 meters. It was neck and neck at the top of the island for 2nd between Harriton, LM and Haverford B with Peddie about 3/4 length in first. Harriton, in lane 2, crowded Haverford B in lane 1 and had to stop. Haverford B continued on, chasing our guys stroke for stroke. The water was flying in the last 150 meters with the sprints gone wild! Haverford B couldn't handle it, crabbing in the last 100 and giving our boys the second place they deserved. Peddie had to be anxious about that last, finishing less than a length in first.

JV 4+ struggled mightily through the course. Their 6th place showing will not be a predictor of things to come. The Ltwt 4+ showed the awesome determination that is becoming a hallmark of all LM crews. Down by 1/2 a length to a strong starting UM crew, and a couple of seats to Catholic at the bridge, the boys started their slow, methodical climb into first with a big move around the 1/2. UM was fading, and it was 3 boats across with 500m to go. LM had barely a seat in first at the top of the island, but cranked the sprint, finishing a solid first 3/4 of a length over Catholic and nearly 2 lengths over UM.

The two heavy 4+s finished the day. The B boat had trouble from the first couple of strokes. They will join the JV boats in appreciating that there is lots of improvement in easy reach. But, the effort and determination is where it is at. The A boat had a better go of it. North Catholic and Collingswood were in a dog fight. By the 1/2 they had open water on our boys, but couldn't open any more in the second half of the race. The men were also in a dogfight of their own, exchanging seats with Radnor throughout the body. By the top of the island, they had a deck, and stretched it to nearly a length by the finish line.

We are spoiled by the beautiful weather the past two weekends, and by the miracle of our young women and men growing in their sport through their superb effort, commitment and determination. As a LM parent, I am really proud of everyone this day, of the parents who contribute, organize, setup, cook, breakdown and in so many ways support the program, the coaches and their talents, vision and commitment, and of course, our kids. GO LM CREW!