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Press Release

Essex Rowers Compete Indoors at C.R.A.S.H.-B Sprints

Boston, MA – February 22, 2009 – Members of the Essex Rowing Club competed in the 2009 C.R.A.S.H.-B. Sprints this past Sunday. The event which was held at Boston University’s Agganis Arena draws rowers and indoor rowers alike from all over the world as it also serves as the indoor rowing World Championship.

Essex Rowers competing this weekend included athletes from most programs offered at Essex. The Masters Women had Katie Mannix and Karen Durante competing in the Lightweight division. Other Masters Women included Marta Stiglin and Claire Levey. Kristen Zampell, too young to compete as a Masters Woman, competed in the Open Women’s Category. For the Juniors – competitors under the age of 18 on race day, Essex boasted both male and female athletes. These included Rebecca Young, Shelby Elotmani, Nora Hannum, Katja Grober, Sean Fanning, John Buchta, John Corbett, Anthony Curro, John McGovern, and Alex Tibbets. Jenn Johnson, although still a high school competitor, competed in the Open Women’s division due to an early birthday.

For several of the competitors, this was their first competition at the 2000m distance on the rowing machines. The 2000 meter test is a benchmark for rowing all over the world and is frequently done throughout the year to test a rower’s fitness and train the rower’s mind for racing. For Mannix, Durante, Stiglin, Levey, Zampell, Young, Elotmani, and Grober, the event was their first time racing over 2000 meters. Essex’s Executive Officer and Senior Coach, Travis Gardner stated “…a lot of them have been in development for a long time. They have done a lot of racing on the water but this was the first time where it was just them and the machine, and our goals were to really give them the best experience, and to build the confidence that performance was something that they were capable of. Each of them performed very well from [Stiglin] having been in that situation for the first time in 20 years since college, having just gotten back into rowing this past year, and then with [Mannix] and [Durante] both novice level athletes being able to go there and being confident that they were at the level of their peers. So, all in all, very good; a successful day for Essex and for Andover with [Grober] being our first representative from Andover High School at that event and so all around it was good, and [we’re] looking forward to the rest of the season.”

All of the rowers achieved the goals that they had set for themselves during their training for this event. Grober and Young, the two freshmen from Essex, were among the youngest competitors of the day. “This was really the first time we had entered freshman into C.R.A.S.H.-B’s- an event that is not really designed for new athletes that [are that] young, but our goal was to put them into the kind of environment that [the event] presents- this kind of high intensity, competitive arena, and really just give them a chance to compete and to have that experience. Our goals, performance-wise, were to stay very consistent, produce a rhythm and stick with that rhythm, and really produce [a] good performance out of that. Both of the athletes did that very well so we are very happy with that performance” commented Gardner.

Some of the more veteran competitors posted personal best times for their 2000 meter tests. Johnson dropped almost 9 seconds for a finish time of 7:33.2. Hannum posted a time of 8:00.3. Corbett finished in a time of 6:50.5 and Curro finished in a time of 6:48.1 “The [female] varsity athletes that made it [Hannum] and [Johnson], both performed extremely well. Both of them got best times by fairly large margins with [Johnson] setting an Essex record in the process. Our goal with those athletes was to see what our base training had done for us at this point- to have a benchmark moving into the latter part of the season having not done race training up to this point. The goal was to set a rhythm, like with the freshmen, and use that to set them up for a strong performance and both achieved that really well.” stated Gardner.

The C.R.A.S.H.-B. Sprints was started in 1980 at Harvard’s Newell Boathouse by members of the 1976 – 1980 Olympic and World Team rowers. The regatta grew larger and soon became an international race to break the drudgery of winter training when the rowers are not able to row on the water. As each year went on, the regatta grew too large for the Newell Boathouse and eventually moved to several different locations around Boston. Since 2006, the regatta has been held “on the ice” of Boston University’s Harry Agganis Hockey Arena.


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Press Contact
Megan Berry
(610) 304.7990

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