Thanksgiving is over and, while the stores are readying themselves for Christmas, we, amongst the alumni, look beyond this minor celebration and focus on the most important holiday season of all: the January Virtual Erg Challenge. Every year we compete against the Spartan Alumni Rowing Association from Case Western Reserve and a team fielded by the University of Chicago Varsity with a little trash talk on the side to make things fun. If you haven’t participated in the past, create your logbook at the Concept 2 website and start logging meters (its on the honor system, cheating would be kind of pathetic):
Don’t forget to add yourself to our team, U Chicago Alumni Crew. If you’ve done the challenge in the past, don’t forget to activate your logbook for this years challenge. Concept 2 is jumping the shark and trying to run challenges all year round, so feel free to get in practice during the “Holiday Challenge” which is a non-team event that runs now through 12/26. January is all that really counts. We’ve been growing in participation since it started in January of 2006. It would be awesome if we could reach new records in numbers of rowers and meters rowed!
In other news, the men’s alumni team was fortunate enough to get into Philly just ahead of Sandy and pull together for a swift race in the Open Men’s Club Eights at the Head of the Schuylkill. The weather, at least for the time we were on the water, was terrific. This was the sixth year that we’ve fielded an alumni boat, which seems like a pretty amazing thing. Over the years that we’ve been doing this, there have been rowers in the boat who I wouldn’t have known, but for rowing with them at this race. I think it reminds all involved that it’s a fantastic thing to row a boat together. Anything that you might think of one another before the race, good or bad, goes out the door in the course of the event and at the end there’s little left except for the unity of having completed the race together, knowing that could not have been accomplished without every one in that boat. Again, that’s pretty amazing. But, we, being former U of C rowers, are not satisfied. We’d very much like to get more people involved for next year. John Bretscher AB ’83 put forward the idea of helping to subsidize a boat of younger rowers next year and a number of alumni have signed on. So, if you’ve been thinking about it in the past, think on it a little more in the future and get in touch as the time for next years Schuylkill draws closer.
Albert A. Bowers AB ’01
The lightweight varsity men have done it again, placing 2nd this past weekend at ACRAs. They lost to the University of Michigan by a mere 3 seconds, with a final total time of 6:45.7. The boat was composed of third years John Kohler, Sasha Ostapenko, Kenny Oshita, and Emily Lo (coxswain), and second year Dhruv Kedar. This is the same boat that took third at Dad Vails the previous week. See a video of their final race here.
The rest of the team also had excellent performances! The varsity women’s boat placed third in heats to compete in semi-finals and then fifth to go on to the petite finals. Their boat, composed entirely of lightweights, competed in the heavyweight category and represented UChicago Crew well. The varsity women’s boat was made up of third year Aurelie Merlo, and second years Sophia Arabadjis, Emily Chen, Sarah Granger, and Anna Arsenault (coxswain).
Both of our novice boats had good races as well. The novice men’s boat, made up of first years John Fallon, Alex Murray, Hans Glick, Matt Xu, and Garrett Chado (coxswain) fought their way into semi-finals and moved on to the petite finals. The novice women’s boat, filled by third year Krista Kaput, and first years Erin Ferguson, Won Huh, Kathy Stewart and Rachel Richman (coxswain) moved on from heats to petite finals where they came in second in their heat. It was a great weekend for racing for everyone!
Don’t forget, the alumni row and BBQ is coming up this weekend! If you weren’t able to sign up on-line, please shoot me an e-mail if you are able to attend. The BBQ will be held at the point on Saturday from 2-4pm. The row will be held at our rowing site on Sunday morning, 8:30am-11am. If you have any questions or comments about either of these events, please let me know!
In true UChicago fashion, the crew team has taken an imaginative turn in their fundraising efforts, entering in a $10,ooo photo contest sponsored by Chipotle restaurants. They are in the finals and currently in the lead! Voting ends on Sunday, May 22. It will take you about a minute or so and will benefit the team.
GREAT NEWS! The UChicago men’s varsity lightweight four placed third at the Dad Vail Regatta with a time of 6:46.56. This is the first Chicago boat to medal at Vails in around 30 years. I have heard rumors that the last boat(s) to do this may have been back in the late seventies or early eighties. Way to go guys!!! This is a major accomplishment and something worth celebrating at the annual Row & BBQ this year. Remember, that’s June 4-5 this year.
You can view a photo album of this year’s Dad Vail races here.
Time to start making plans to attend the annual Alumni Row & BBQ, which will take place in Chicago June 4-5. The BBQ will be held in the afternoon on June 4, with the row the following Sunday morning. We’ve got some big news to announce and the launch of a major fundraising campaign. For the Class of 2001, this will be… our 10 year reunion. Are you coming? Hope to see you there!
Just a quick note to any alumni who might be thinking of heading to Indianapolis this weekend to cheer the team on: MACRAs has been moved to Grand Rapids, MI due to weather making Indianapolis’ site unrowable. They will be racing in Bass River Park, Ottawa County. There is no revised schedule as of yet, but races will probably start around 8am.
Please contact Chelsea Steffen if you need further directions chelsea(dot)steffen(at)gmail(dot)com