|The conclusion of the Boys Senior 8 semi-final heat won by St. Anthony's (5/10/13).|
My stepson Gregory and his school's crew team, McQuaid Jesuit High School, made their annual trip to Saratoga Springs, New York, to participate in the 2013 Scholastic Rowing Championships. Sponsored by New York State Scholastic Rowing Association, the head-to-head sprint finals format makes for an interesting spectator experience, especially for one such as myself who is unschooled in the nuances of competitive rowing.
While I greatly appreciate the stamina and technical skills necessary to row (well), this is primarily due to the competitive similarities between rowing and running. Many of the fall season races (and seeding races at this meet as well) are timed races solely for seeding purposes. Like early heats in a track and field meet, those who are expected to move onto semis may give just enough effort to gain a favorable seeding lane. Though I'm certain each team rows all out, not being able to visually see the teams row against one another (and knowing they'll be back hours later for the head-to head) makes the viewing a little less intense.
In the four years that Gregory had been rowing, and attending the Scholastic Championships, this was the first time I had been able to attend. In years past the track team I coach would be competing on this weekend, but due to a new track being installed I was able to make the trip down. I had often heard stories of mud pits, rain and generally in hospitable conditions, so I had expected the worst. Fortunately, the weather was relatively pleasant with only intermittent drizzle and wind--of course, only when racing was commencing. During the scheduled (and unscheduled) breaks in action the sun came out and it was a lovely Spring day.
|A bridge to somewhere: the NYS Scholastic Rowing Championship site (5/10/13).|
|Primo viewing locale for the finish of each race (5/10/13).|
|Time trial finale (5/10/13).|
|Returning to the launch for a roughly four-hour break before semis (5/10/13).|
|McQauid families enjoying a choice location and lots of grub (5/10/13).|
|"Fours" and "eights" are derigged for the trip home as teams conclude competition (5/10/13).|
|The view of spectators from the bridge (5/10/13).|
|The official finish line wherein technology helps determine who the winners are (5/10/13).|
|The view of boats lining up at the start in anticipation of the start (5/10/13).|
|Just like in track, boats (like sprinters) end up seeded where they belong (5/10/13).|
|In track we woudl say "everyone ran to their seed" (5/10/13).|
|Here, everyone rows to their respective seeds (5/10/13).|
|Gregory and his teammates after the race (5/10/13).|
|It didn't take a trip to the results trailer to know we'd come up just a little short... (5/10/13).|
Full results from the New York Scholastic Rowing Championships for all races are available here.