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Northwood revived its Crew program in 2000, after a hiatus of 45 years. As our fleet, facilities, and training methods have grown, so has our success. In the past five years we have sent a Girls' varsity and two Boys' varsities to the SRAA "Scholastic Nationals,” most recently finishing 10th in the Boys' Senior Fours at the 2008 regatta. Recent Northwood graduates are rowing in strong crews at NESCAC and Patriot League colleges.
Rowing was America’s first intercollegiate sport (Yale-Harvard, 1852) and is one of the last great amateur sports left in the Olympics. To excel as a rower requires aerobic fitness, flexibility, balance, leg-and-back strength, unerring focus, and a fierce competitive drive. Coxswains, who steer and call the workouts and race plans in some boat classes, must study rowing technique, boathandling, race tactics, and the universally important skills of leadership. They are true "mighty mites"—tough, physically small people who love to compete and to be in charge. We train outdoors in almost all weather, routinely logging sessions of 60 to 80 minutes. In return, when things go right, the athletes get a uniquely close bond with their boatmates and a magical feeling that many rowers and coxswains describe as "like flying," or "like we're all one person, like all the power in the boat is coming from one place.”
Because our program is small, we compete mainly in coxed fours and a quadruple scull. Our fleet includes a double scull and several singles. Because small-boat skills make rowers more sensitive and versatile, we try to make sure that everyone who spends more than a year with us learns to scull in the double and, ideally, to be comfortable in a racing single. Since the ability to swim is a must for safety in any water sport, all new athletes take a swimming test designed to approximate what they’ll face if a boat flips or swamps in cool weather.
We row in both fall and spring. The fall races are longer, and have a more relaxed feeling about them, than the spring ones. Fall is skill-building time. At the spring championship regattas, speed and clean execution are all-important; that’s when "the knives come out.” Students may row or cox in either season alone, but our most accomplished athletes are two-season ones. Because of our location—farther north, and higher, than any other high-school crew in New York—we usually wait until mid-April for the ice to leave Mirror Lake, our home water. That makes our on-water preparation for the spring championships very short. Those relaxed hours of fall rowing count a lot toward our spring speed.
Students who fear being "behind the curve” if they take up a new sport now shouldn’t worry: High school is not a late start in rowing. Most athletes in Division One collegiate crews and U.S. national teams started rowing or coxing only in high school. Some still "walk on" in college, and some of those walk-ons go on to compete internationally.
|Howard Runyon - Head Coach|
Howard rowed at Middlesex School and Yale University. He came to Northwood in 2005, bringing experience that included four years coaching the men's and women's crews at the University of Chicago.
email@example.comNorthwood School • P.O. Box 1070 • Lake Placid, NY 12946 • 518.523.3357
|Ben Runyon - Assistant Coach|
Ben has been a member of the Northwood School faculty since 2002, and assisting with the Northwood crew since 2003. He rowed at the Middlesex School and Bucknell University.