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Rowing Club to host first fall invitational

Sept. 26, 2003

By Amanda Goffinet, reporter

History will be made Saturday as the Rowing Club hosts its first Baylor Fall Invitational, a regatta, at Cameron Park East on the Brazos River.

'It's actually going to be pretty big compared to other's first races,' said Nick Seeman, a Coppell senior and head coach of the Rowing Club.

The Baylor Fall Invitational will feature several university teams, including Rice University, Texas A&M University, Northwestern State University, Wichita State University and Oklahoma State University. Various city rowing clubs will compete, and high school teams have been invited to 'get a good look' at how Baylor rows, Seeman said.

'We have some of the best rowing water in the nation,' Seeman said, explaining why teams are attracted to the Brazos River.

'The water's always calm, even when the wind blows hard.'

Seeman also commented on the atmosphere of the river, saying that 'it's kind of cool' to row past Waco's downtown area.

Races will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, with the last race starting at 2:20 p.m.

Seeman encouraged Baylor students to come and see what the Rowing Club is all about. 'I think everyone should experience a regatta, especially because they are not very common ... in this area. If they like it, they should try it out,' he said.

Those who would like to watch the races are encouraged to gather at the bleachers at Cameron Park East, where the end of the race can be seen.

People also will be able to watch from the suspension bridge, according to Jackie Collins, a Kingwood junior and the club's assistant coach.

Spectators are welcome all day, and Big Daddy's will be catering for lunch.

'It's really different than everything you've ever seen before,' said Rachel Schwarz, a Louisville, Colo., junior and the club's assistant coach.

'I think it will be a good thing locally. Not many people know what crew is about,' she said.

Cameron Park East is located off of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., west of Interstate Highway 35.

'We're looking for support,' Seeman said. 'We are growing and getting better. We are able to compete on a national level now.'

Collins added that the team is now able to compete and win against scholarship athletes - that is, teams that are backed by their school's athletic department.

The Rowing Club is a club team under Campus Recreation. According to Seeman, there are approximately 55 members on the team.

Rowing Club, or crew, members pull two-a-days, practicing at both 5:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Practice usually includes both rowing and cross training.

'We work really hard,' Seeman said. 'We're out there at least four hours a day, training people and teaching them how to row.'

Between 35 and 40 Baylor Rowing Club members will compete in this weekend's regatta, with eight boats racing.

In preparation for the weekend, club members have 'been on the water rowing a lot this week,' Schwarz said.

The Rowing Club has two more competitions on its schedule for later this year. The team will be traveling to Austin Oct. 25 and Atlanta Nov. 1.

In Atlanta, the team will be competing in the third largest race in the nation.