The News Page: 3/19/06 Flick #1

By Brian Conley _________________________________________________________

It was a bright day for the Lower Merion Team going out to the first race of the season and our first test against the competition. History has shown that the first Flick race tends to be a poor showing for Lower Merion Crew, but things look to be changing. With the chill in the air and sun shining bright on the river, the freshmen and freshmen parents got an idea of things to come from the athletes on the water. Also with the race starting much later than the traditional 9am start, it allowed everyone to sleep in a bit from the crew social the previous night.

The crews that were selected to race in the varsity races for this week showed up to the boathouse two hours prior to their race to prepare mentally and physically. The women were the first to put on a show for the spectators, who had gathered at the tent to experience the first race of the year. The Varsity Women's 4+ and Varsity Women's Lightweight 4+ races were combined because of the low amount of entries in the Varsity 4+ race. Conestoga jumped out to an early lead on the women at the start. At the half way mark the Varsity 4+ was down approximately 4 seats to Stoga and up on the Lightweight 4+ by a few seats with the Mount well off in fourth place. As the crews moved passed the island, it was Stoga now with a seat open water and moving. The Lightweight 4+ started to move up on the Varsity 4+ and pulled even at this point it was down to the last few strokes. The Lightweight women pulled it out in the end with the Varsity 4+ right there. It was a solid race. With some improvements that can add speed to the crews, I am sure that these crews will be in the top placements soon.

The Lightweight Men put on the most dominant show of the day. It was clear extremely early that unless there was a severe disaster the men were going to win easily. After the first 5 strokes, the men had open water and never looked back. They continued to row long and strong without a sprint to a 33 second victory.

After the victory, it was the Men's Varsity 4+ that was to close out the day with the most exciting race of the day. Lasalle had gained an early lead off the start on the men with Bonner trailing by a small margin. At the half way mark it was obvious that it was anyone's race. The men were remaining calm and relaxed and moving the boat. The men had moved into a slight lead with 500 meters to go and Bonner putting on a large charge to try and take the victory. As the crews passed the parents tent, Bonner had taken a slight advantage on LM with LM having a slight advantage on Lasalle. The men continued to push, but it was their lack of experience on the water relative to the other crews which limited LM to a second place position. LM having been on the water for only 2 weeks versus the 4 weeks the other crews had showed in the last 500 meters as the crews were not prepared for sprinting, which could have given the men that .4 seconds that they needed for the victory.

Having LM put on its strongest showing at Manny Flick #1 in recent memory shows that there should be great things to come from this team this year. Each passing week should bring a great deal more speed. This is an exciting beginning to the year and looks good towards the goal of all the crews qualifying for Nationals this coming season. (Look for "Winning Crews" in NEWS)

By David Greenspan_________________________________________________________

The first Manny Flick race is over. LM entered 4 boats, all 4+ (fours with coxswains). We had an excellent showing given the very limited water time for our squad. Head winds slow boats, make them heavy to move through the water. They are easy on the set, however, stabilizing the platform. But will also blow on the oars creating their unique havoc. Fortunately the water wasn't too choppy, at least not for us watching from the sidelines!

The day started with the two lady varsity 4's. The 'lightweight' boat beat out the 'heavyweight' boat by 0.3 seconds (6:48.5 and 6:48.8) with Conestoga winning by 8 seconds (about 1.5 boat lengths) and Mount St. Josephs 25 seconds back in 4th.

The Ltwt men's 4 won their event easily in 5:40 a full 33 seconds ahead of episcopal. GO LM!

The final LM race was the men's Heavy 4. As the four crossed in front of the tent the three boats in the contest were all a seat apart from each other (about 3 feet). Bonner won the event by 0.5 seconds, with LM second in 5:47 and LaSalle third, another 1 second back.

Hopefully there will be more to say IF I hear from the coaches and parents.

All the race results can be reviewed HERE