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Making some waves
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Let's have some hockey hooliganism
Making some waves
By Dave Martin
This past weekend, both the Western mens' and womens' rowing teams paddled in their home waters for the only time this season as they competed in the Head of the Thames on Saturday and hosted the UWO Invitational on Sunday.
While the men are still testing different combinations in their boats, the women, especially those competing in the lightweight division, are already flying at top gear.
Men's head coach Volker Nolte was pleased with his team's efforts and said the mixed combinations led to results that didn't demonstrate his team's full capabilities.
"We did quite well for our first regatta of the season. Having all twenty-five athletes be able to compete in a race was definitely a good thing, but it meant we were not necessarily putting our best possible boats on the water," Nolte said.
"The combined crews gave us a chance to see how everyone responded to being in an actual competitive situation as we've got some junior varsity athletes who really benefit from the experience," he added.
The men took two first place prizes on Saturday in the mens' eight and lightweight mens' coxed four.
In singles, the women dominated as Jane Rumball won the open womens' singles on Saturday and the womens' singles on Sunday and Leigh Ann Niven took the lightweight womens' singles on Saturday. The women also racked up wins in the lightweight eights, lightweight coxed fours, open coxed fours, coxed fours and doubles.
Womens' head coach Al Morrow was very happy with the performance and outlined his opinions on the breakdown of the team.
"It was a great start to the season and I was very pleased with the results and the way the team executed. Our lightweights are an extremely strong group and are on course to have a great shot at winning all four of their events at the OUAs.
"A little more time and practice should really help us out in a couple of events for the heavyweights, but excelling in six out of eight events is really exciting," Morrow said.
Womens' team member Leigh Ann Niven had similar feelings regarding the make-up of her team, as well as the men's squad.
"We've got a tonne of depth in the lightweights and we did an excellent job of demonstrating that this weekend. The heavyweight women, as well as the men, have a lot of talent spread throughout them and just need some more development [and] time together to give us a really good shot at holding both banners come the end of the OUAs," Niven said.
Coach Morrow enjoyed the chance to get a sneak peak of what they would be up against come November OUAs.
"This weekend, especially Sunday, gave us a chance to check out who our competition will be and, as usual, it appears Brock and U of T will be very strong," Morrow said.
Nolte also noted how impressive Brock looked at this point in the season.
"Brock seems to be ahead of us preparation-wise, but I think that's because they start earlier in the summer. They are already at their peak performance level which will be hard to maintain for the entire season, whereas we now have a target to aim for and keep improving towards. I definitely think we can match them and hopefully by the end [of the season], we'll have more hunger left inside of us then they will," Nolte said.
Both Western teams head to Peterborough this weekend for the Head of the Trent regatta.