Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mitakihara Rowing: The Late Bloomers

Mitakihara Rowing: The Late Bloomers

November 11, 2030

Weekly Report Posted: December 22, 2012 16:02

The cool, icy waters of the Strait of Georgia make for excellent rowing, and Mitakihara's crew teams take advantage of the waters to do their afternoon strokes. The Elric Boathouse is where the men's teams are houses. Two kilometers up the coast is the Uzumaki Boathouse, the home of the women's teams.
Jamie Law-Smith of Montreal West, Quebec is the head coach of the men's teams. He mentions a time where the crew teams where at their absolute nadir.
"Before I became the coach in 2020," Law-Smith said, "the men's and women's crew teams were close to being axed due to the lack of performance. When I came in to the university to coach, along with [women's crew coach] Jessica [Mealia], we started to become competitive.
"We compete annually in our own regatta at Elric Boathouse's course in the Spring and we also compete the Henley-on-Todd, the regional meets and the national meets. In my first year at the helm, we had a splash of Top 5 finishes.
"The coaching staff for the men and women, composed of different Ivy persuasions, were not satisfied with just that. We recruit internationally and in the past three to five years, we got rowers from the United Kingdom,, Australia, the U.S. and Canada. Last year, for the first time in our history, we had a clean sweep, with each heavyweight and lightweight team finishing first in each race in every regatta we took part in.
"The momentous occasion made headlines, and now we are a consistent threat at every collegiate regatta in the world. Our mission is to finish top five minimum in each race. We work with sport scientists who also work with the Canadian Olympic Committee to find new ways to increase efficiency and output. Finally, all of our rowers are given a strict diet and exercise plan to help maintain a satisfactory fitness level that will improve performance.
"We have at least 30 rowers among our alums who have gone on to compete for their respective countries at numerous international sporting events that involve rowing. Three of our former rowers, Sally Hayes, Ann Whisenhunt, and Janet Gibbons, were on the gold-medal winning USA women's eights team two years ago in Cape Town.
"I believe we are ready to help set the standard for the future of collegiate rowing in British Columbia and Canada."

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