With the phenomenal weather this past weekend, many Colby College students were less focused on their studies and more concerned with being outside and getting rid of winter paleness. But even with the sun shining high in the sky, the last thing the Colby men and women's crew teams worried about was their tanlines.
In fact, Colby's crew teams are both slightly burnt after their fantastic spring break in Gainesville, Georgia. The teams spent their spring training trip on Lake Lanier, home of the Olympic rowing facility for the 1996 Atlanta Games. The men's and women's crew teams competed against schools coming from various regions throughout the eastern and southern United States. Some schools the teams raced against included New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) rival Middlebury College, Clemson University, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Louisiana State University, among others. All of Colby's crew team members agreed that their time in Georgia was a blast.
The teams were put through strenuous two-a-days throughout the week of spring break. The hard work put in by both teams during this time paid off in their final race at the end of the trip. The men's first varsity crew eight (eight man boat) came in first in their heat and the first women's varsity eight came in third. The second women's varsity eight came in fourth place for their heat.
Spring break wasn't the only strong point of the Colby crew team's preseason; during the fall and the winter the men and women's teams practiced tirelessly indoors with weights and ergs (An erg, or ergometer, is a mechanical machine that calculates energy in units of erg and is used to measure the rider's energy expenditure), boosting their strength for the season ahead. Colby's crew teams consist of two men's varsity eights, a men's novice four, and two women's varsity eights, an obvious representation of the team members' passion and dedication to their sport.
Before spring break and now during the spring season, the team holds practice at the Colby-Hume Center, where Colby's boathouse is located on Messalonskee Lake. The teams have used this boathouse since 1986, and it is an ideal location for the crew teams to practice as Messalonskee Lake is approximately seven miles long and about one mile wide. But even before the ice broke on the lake, the teams rowed on Messalonskee stream. You have to give the team credit for this; not many Colby students would venture out onto a lake when the water and the air are within the same temperature range.
Now that the season is underway, the team expects strong results from all of its boats. On Saturday, April 3, the teams competed in Worcester, Mass. at Lake Quinsigamond for the opening regatta of the season. The first women's varsity eight placed fourth with a time of 7 minutes, 48.06 seconds, beating NESCAC rival Middlebury. The Colby first mens varsity eight took fifth with a time of 6:45.19. The men's second varsity eight took second place with a 6:38.64 clocking, and the Colby men's novice four placed second as well. The Colby women's second varsity eight placed third with a time of 8 minutes, 24.45 seconds, beating Middlebury as well. This exciting start to the crew season is proof that Colby will be the team to watch out for in 2010.