Sports Shorts: Scrimmage good start for crew club

By Joe Katz

Even working short-handed didn’t hold back the Maroons.

Competing without several of their best rowers, Chicago Crew held their own at their first scrimmage of the fall at Skokie Sunday. The men’s top four-man boat, crewed by postgrad Maris Goldmanis, second-year Matt Bruce, third-year Joel Avila and fourth-year team captain Danny Wasserman with second-year Liam Bradshaw as coxswain led the way, sliding in four seconds behind Wash U and beating back Northwestern and North Park boats.

Injury and postgraduate plans left the team’s roster slightly depleted for the weekend. Second-year Ben Farkash missed the first of what should be several months worth of meets with a partially-torn ACL, and another top-four rower was working as a coxswain in the second men’s four-man. A third team member was traveling for medical school interviews and will return next week.

“It definitely would have helped to have another strong boat, but I think it’s also been good to have some other guys have the opportunity to step up,” Wasserman said. “Some of us have taken advantage of the open spots and are going pretty well, but it’ll be nice to have those three back.”

Four different squads competed for the Maroons. The women’s four, featuring third-years Kate Norland and Sarah Jubinski and postgrads Julie Collens and Lucy Michael with second-year Nora Granvill as coxswain finished fourth in their race. The men’s eight-man finished third of seven, behind Wash U and Northwestern and ahead of North Park’s first boat, and a second four-man boat finished sixth in their race.

“The guys were pretty pleased with the results. We felt like we rowed really well. We’ve been working a lot on our technique really, and I think we could really feel the effect on our rowing,” Wasserman said. “We’re headed in the right direction.”

Both the men and women have been practicing twice a day since Labor Day weekend in preparation for the fall season. The scrimmage was their first chance to measure their progress against a trio of strong regional programs.

The club will next compete Sunday at the Head of the Rock Regatta in Rockford against what should be a very tough field. The Head of the Rock is one of the bigger regattas in the country, regularly featuring top Midwestern squads like Northwestern, Michigan, Wisconsin, Marquette, Purdue, and Minnesota. As many as 30 schools should attend.

“At this point, we’re just trying to keep improving. The meets that we’re looking towards are the Head of the Charles in Boston and the Head of the Elk in Elkhart. Obviously, we’re looking to do well, but we just want to build on this weekend,” Wasserman said. “It should be good competition. We’ll get a better sense of where we match up against a larger range of competitors.”