Boxer Rowing, off to a fast start and breaking records
At their most recent competition, the Logger Invite at the University of Puget Sound, the Pacific University’s Women’s Rowing team accomplished something no Boxer rowing team had ever done. The varsity 8-person squad rowed a 2000-meter sprint in under eight minutes; a big step (stroke?) forward for a small team.
The team practices at Haag lake often before the sun rises; the team wakes up by the calm water with ripples from their strokes. Thick green trees surround the open lake, and the team rows until their arms shake with exhaustion.
The training on the water also shows on the land during their cross-training in the weight room. Junior Makenna Sawyer recently pushed her limits on the rowing machine, breaking the land-based 2000m school record at 7:39.4 minutes. Second-year head coach Charlotte Copp quickly noted that Sawyer’s time was faster than any of the Lewis & Clark rowers.
In her fifth season with the team (second as the head coach), Copp has tasked herself with rebuilding the squad—a task she already has shown great promise, quadrupling the roster size in her first year as head coach, and with record-breaking times this year.
“I have a lot of second years, and I’m really excited to see how they grow because they’ve already made huge fitness and technical gains this year,” described Copp. “I can’t wait to see how the team changes even more and gets faster.”
Morgan Hansen, a senior and captain, is the team’s coxswain and on-boat coach. Hansen motivates her crew to push themselves on the water by being the team’s eyes and ears on the boat.
“She’s incredibly smart and competitive and knows how to support her rowers while also pushing them to do their best,” applauded Copp.
The Boxer rowing team hasn’t traditionally been considered “a force” in the Northwest Conference, but Copp is optimistic that this year will bring about a difference.
“This year might be the first year we are really competitive in the conference,” explained Copp. “Every year, we get a little faster but fall short.” This spring season, however, Copp is excited for the head-to-head with conference leaders like Pacific Lutheran. “I think we have a chance to . . . fight all the way down the race course,” she said.
NW Championships at held Sunday, April 23 at Lake Vancouver in Washington. — Cole Weber