Just like that- all wrapped up. WIRA was a whirlwind of preparation, with a last minute change of plans putting me in the trailer for a solo drive to and from California. It’s a good chance to reflect on the season but by the time I was back I was ready for a little distance and left the blog alone; now here we are a week later, the seniors have graduated (huge congrats to Andrew, Sarah, Ruthie, and Helen!) and everyone else has gone home.
You can read about the results from WIRA here, but I wanted to focus on one statistic- twenty five seconds, to be exact.
One of the best parts about the Lake Natoma racecourse is that it’s one of the few we go to that’s precise. The course is professionally maintained, has been in use for decades, and is run by a true team of experts. We can rely on the fact that if the crews race in good conditions, the times will stand up pretty well from year to year.
Last year (2010) our women’s varsity eight went 7:13.8 in the heat. The finals were windy, so that time was pretty off, but the heats were run in calm weather and water. The crew went on to finish fifth in the grand final, equaling our 2008 crew. With six freshman in the crew we felt really good about that race.
This spring our women’s eight finished the grand final in a time of 6:48.8, exactly twenty five seconds faster then last year. The conditions were near ideal, with maybe a little bit of current flowing, but still- an excellent time that shows the improvement we’ve seen throughout the year. And… we finished fifth. The same placing as 2008 and 2010. The racing was incredibly tight and competitive, but in the end the final result was the same.
A week later and I’m philosophical about it. The crew, and the team, improved tremendously this year. We had two, and often three, eights on the water daily. We got a tremendous amount better and continued to improve all the way to the end of the season. However, so did everyone else- the NCRC women’s field was stacked this year, and showed it by going 1st to 5th at WIRA, with a spread of 4 seconds from 2nd through 5th place.
So now it’s time for some relaxation, some reflection, some time away, and the summer work of repairs, refurbishments, and recruiting. School kicks off August 29th.
Next year striving for a few seconds more.
PS-> I’m continuing to expand our presence into the digital age. Pioneer Crew is now live on Facebook. “Like” us to see the updates- much of it will be content from this blog as I post updates, or we’ll post photos/updates directly on facebook as well.