Lightweight rowing will ship up to Cambridge, Massachusetts for the famed Head of the Charles Regatta this weekend.
In the first of two races this fall, the Light Blue will enter a boat of four first-years, along with five individual scullers. Based on weeks of practice, head coach Nich Lee Parker has decided on the group of four new rowers, out of 13, who will represent Columbia this weekend.
“[Parker’s decision] points out where things are for each guy, and now what we’re trying to do is give them an opportunity to respond,” Parker said.
Parker mentioned that sophomore Jensen Carlgren is a prime example. The New Mexico native didn't make that "freshman four" boat for the Head of the Charles last year but still wound up on the Varsity Eight in the spring.
“[The first-years] know in the end it doesn't matter," Parker said. "Whether you make the four or don’t make the four, you’re still learning what you need to work on and what you need to improve.”
For the returning rowers, including Carlgren, the focus is on the fundamentals. Though this group was part of the championship crew last season, Parker encourages them to compete in practice to see how they stack up against their teammates, allowing first-years to become more familiar with the way the team operates.
“With everybody else on the team, one of the things we’ve talked about is, if you’re gonna build a championship program, what are the most important things that are going to lead to it?” Parker said.
The team has also had to adjust to a larger roster and changes in the coaching staff. Parker pointed to “practice etiquette”—his term for efficiency—as something that needed some improvement.
“We’re still not up to … practice etiquette, which is my way of saying how do we get the most done in the least amount of time possible,” Parker said. “We need to train a lot but not waste any time. [We’re] taking care of all the little things before and after practice so that everything is done, and being really efficient within our practice.”
The Lions start on the Charles River this weekend, beginning with the singles at 3:47 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22 and the fours at 1:48 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 23.