Bucknell Men's Crew Looks Forward to Spring Season

The men's team just returned from their spring training trip in South Carolina and we are anticipating some FAST racing this spring! Read on below.

Bucknell Men’s Crew Looking Forward to Spring Season

With the end of a successful fall and winter campaign the Bucknell Men’s Crew team is looking forward to the upcoming spring season. The Bison who are coming off their second place finish at the ACRA National Championships last year have an aggressive schedule with regattas across both the East and West coast.

For the Bison the winter training period is a time for athletes to build their aerobic base and fitness for the upcoming spring season. During winter training the Bison hold most of their workouts on the indoor rowing machines (ergometers) while the Susquehanna River is unrowable. The team had their first reprieve from indoor training when they went to Columbia, South Carolina from January 9-17th. The Bison had chosen the Broad river in Columbia as a training destination for the last few years because of its favorable weather and miles of calm rowable water. In South Carolina the athletes get a head start on the spring season by working on honing their technique and boat feel.

During the winter training trip in South Carolina the team was able to practice in small boats instead of the eight which they will compete in during the Spring. Small boats such as pairs and fours are harder to row and this experience forces the athletes to utilize better boat awareness and precise blade work.

“The expectation is that this awareness will help us to keep developing speed throughout the spring. Its easy to bash around the 8 because it can be so forgiving, but when you row the 8 with the precision of a small boat your speed can really take off,” Said Head Coach Paul Bugenhagen.

Coach Bugenhagen was quite pleased with the hard work that was done during their training trip. “When we left Columbia, SC after our winter training camp we made great strides in the varsity program rowing with a heavy emphasis on small boat rowing and competing in a series of pair matrices. The freshman also benefited from a heavy dose of rowing and selection in fours. The result for both teams were 1st boat line-ups that exceeded last years performance records for our first boat crews.”

After their winter training trip and at the end of the winter indoor rowing season the Bison hosted their annual indoor rowing regatta, Erg Armageddon. This indoor rowing race is essentially a time trial of 2000m that will test a rower’s overall fitness. Results from this year’s race proved that the Bison have been working hard and pushing themselves to their physical limits.

“No erg test day goes perfect for everyone unfortunately; that said all but 2 athletes were able to set new personal records over 2000m and as a group our body of work is impressive and we are well positioned to have the skills and fitness to successfully compete in the races in the spring. I'm certainly pleased with our progress and ready to see the team’s hard work translate to speed on the water,” said Coach Bugenhagen.

The Bison will see the first test of the 2011 spring season at the Ithaca Invite in Ithaca, NY on March 26th. At last year’s invite the Varsity won their duals against Hobart and Ithaca but fell to the Cornell Heavyweights while the novice beat both Michigan and Ithaca but fell to the Cornell Lightweights.

One of the most anticipated regattas on the schedule will be the San Diego Crew Classic which Bucknell secured an invite to this year based on their successful 2010 campaign. The Varsity eight will make their trip to San Diego on April 2nd while the rest of the team will travel to New Jersey to take on both Rutgers and Delaware. This prestigious and highly competitive event will be a chance for Bucknell to face some of the best teams from the West coast.

The rest of April won’t get any easier however as the Bison will travel to the Knecht cup the weekend after the Crew Classic. At the Knecht cup last year the Bison took 2nd place to Temple in a tight race that saw places 2-5 all finishing within 1.5 seconds of each other. Mark your calendars because the marquee matchup of the early season will take place when Bucknell host’s the 2010 ACRA Club National Champion Michigan in Lewisburg on April 16th in a rematch of last years race. If you are near the area this is one race you will NOT want to miss. The team will close out April with a trip to Worcester, MA where they will face Holy Cross on the ECAC course.

The team will have two weeks after they face Holy Cross to get ready for the championship season which starts with ECAC’s on May 8th. This will be the second year that Bucknell will compete at ECAC’s which is one of the premier leagues on the East Coast. Following the end of the school year the rowers will stay on campus for the beginning of the summer as they get ready for the ACRA Club National Championships which will be held in Gainesville, GA on May 28-29. The Varsity eight has continually improved at the ACRA Championships in placing 8th, 4th and 2nd over the last three years and this year’s goal at ACRA will be to keep solidifying their position as one of the best club teams in the nation.

Go Bison!