The News Page: 2005 City Championship

By Brian Conley _______________________________________________________________
The City Championships. The second medal race of the season and Lower Merion was out on the water in search of their treasure. It was a day that brought the sun out and along with it some treacherous water because of the wind. The crews took to the water as they always have with the intent to make the final and then win the final...always taking things in steps. The wins proved to be a most difficult thing in an extraordinarily strong tail wind. Tail winds are notorious for allowing the playing field to level out by shortening the race time for each race.

The day saw some early celebration, while conditions were calm, as the Women's Novice Four, racing together for the first time placed second in the time trial by a mere .02 seconds. These young women pushed themselves into the final representing what Coach Zach has been teaching them all season about what hard work will do for them. They represented Lower Merion with smiles and a great drive during the final, just falling short despite their effort. The novice men found the water to be a little too rough for them to manange. They never were able to establish their solid rhythym that Coach Wood has seen them have in practice. The JV squad had mixed results with the Men coming off three weeks of consistent improvement, rising from last place in the flicks to 11th at Jerseys. They pushed hard but fell short in their quest to make the final as well. The women's JV came off the water excited about how they attacked and rowed the piece. Both JV crews have been making improvements all week and both found themselves rowing better than they have before but neither was able to make the final.

The Varsity squad found a glimmer of sun while racing. The Varsity Lightweight Women placed sixth in the time trial and thus into the final. They fully exhausted themselves in the race, knowing that their training would pull them through to race one more time for the gold. The women fell short however in the final and placed 7th.(There was an additional boat added to the race because of the officials miscalculation of time during the time trial for another crew.) We are proud of their efforts and their attitudes toward racing and making the final as being one of the best crews in the Philadelphia Area. The Varisty Women's 4+ and the Varisty Lightweight Mens 4+ found their results similar to each other in their time trials. After a season of much success, they were looking to really add to their accomplishments with making a run at the top crews. The Men had difficulty at the start with their timing and also with the conditions that started to really rip up the water at the time of their race. The Varsity Women found similar problems with the conditions. The tail wind was dictating alot of what happened to all the crews that raced. Finally, the Varsity Men's 4+ found a day of excitement, disappointment, and a sign of things to come. The Men raced better than they had ever before and felt that they had really put forth an effort that would allow them to make the final. Watching them from the banks, I felt myself get the tingling sensation watching each stroke go in together with perfection. I was excited that they were executing the race plan perfectly as well and with it had already passed a crew within the first 500 meters. It would be hours before their results were posted and upon reading the results it was apparent that there was a large error. The crew they had passed had in some way beaten them by a large margin and large enough that would have placed them 5th and thus in the final. A protest of the race was filed and after much negotiation the officials decided that the results would stand despite the proof that the results were calculated incorrectly. These men will look for their revenge in the next two weeks with their training and also with their attitude towards beating those other crews.

In all, Lower Merion found the City Championships to be a rough day. Depsite this setback in race performance, we are still focused on our goal of the Stotesbury Cup Regatta which has been the focus of our training all year. All the crews, will meet the historic Schuylkill River race course again in two weeks time and we will look to set our sites on that medal dock for all of our competing athletes.

By David Greenspan _______________________________________________________________
It was a day of ups and downs (so what is new) for LM Crew. Results can be found by following the links from HERE!

Weather? A significant factor with lots of sunshine, 68 degrees and white caps in the tail wind. This creates havoc with boats, as a tail wind destabilizes the set, and causes the catch to feel light and tenuous. Timing and quick legs are key... if you can pull it off with a gale in your face!

Well, some of our recent stars didn't fair so well this week. The Ladies V4 came in 7th and the Men's LV4 came in 8th just a mere couple of seconds off the pace to the finals. The Frosh Ladies 4 made the finals and came in 4th. The Ladies LV4 also made the finals and came in 7th (yes, 7 boats rowed). I look forward to hearing from pariticpants and getting more details.

There were lots of complaints at the judges stand with coaches complaining about the posted times and finishing orders. I can see getting into that game as everyone wants their kids to have a fair shot. But the PSRA is doing the best it can. Like refereeing in any sport, there are breaks both good and bad. I like the attitude offered by some, "if you are far enough out in front, nothing else is going to matter!" Me? I am thrilled to see our kids compete with so many other boats. At one point the river was packed (see the home page). What a beautiful site. Frankly, someone has to win, and someone else has to be in last. And everyone puts their best on the line each day. There will be others. Upper Merion next week and then STOTES! Check it out by following these links.