NEW HAVEN, Conn.- While memories of this past summer may have faded from the heads of students on campus, certain Yalies are about to put the work of their summers on display with the men's heavyweight crew fall-time debut this weekend. This summer, the members of the men's heavyweight crew team were busy aggressively preparing for another year of competition. The heavyweight squad, led by coaches Stephen Gladstone, Joel Scrogin and Sam Baum and newly-elected senior captain Zachary Johnson, has situated itself in an unprecedented position of both physical fitness and hunger for victory. After a major overhaul of the coaching staff in 2010, most notably including the hiring of Coach Gladstone, the team has been building momentum and strength with the goal of regaining Yale Crew's place at the top of any podium. This summer, massive steps were taken to provide the team with a head-start on that goal.
At the World U-23 level, the Bulldogs were well represented. Competing for Germany was sophomore Hubert Trzybinski. While Trzybinski had spent the past year rowing sweep-style in the first varsity eight for Yale, it was clear he had not lost his ability to skull, as he dominated the field to win gold in the single (1x). Unfortunately, he was not able to break the world record in the event at the U23 level this year after setting it in 2012.
The Bulldogs were also represented this summer in a number of different international regattas. Freshmen Nate Goodman, Rob Hurn and John Risbergs competed at Junior Worlds in Lithuania-Goodman and Risbergs representing the U.S.A., and Hurn wearing his Australian yellow and green. Seniors Oliver Fletcher, Gerard Keunning and Zachary Johnson, along with Juniors Clemens Barth and Lyon Van Voorhis won a smattering of medals in a wide array of events while rowing for the California Rowing Club this summer at Canadian Henley. Finally, at the Henley Royal Regatta at Henley-on-Thames in England, Sophomore Tom Pagel swapped the Abingdon pink from his school-boy days for the pink of Griffen Boat Club and helped take home The Thames Challenge Cup. Also appearing in the finals of that race was freshman Ollie Wynne-Griffith, competing in the second-place boat.
This fall, the Heavyweights have been taking time to perfect their technique and add volume to their training. Dedication to work in boats smaller than those rowed in the springtime will allow the Bulldogs to refine their stroke by way of repetition, and practice moving boats together. As the fall season progresses, there will be a number of chances for the team members to exhibit the gains they've made, at both the local Head of the Housatonic, and the world-renowned Head of the Charles.
The Bulldogs will boat three eights this Saturday at the Head of the Housatonic, an at-home exhibition and chance for these oarsmen to dust off the gloves and get their hands dirty with a little competition. They will compete in the Collegiate Men (IRA) event, Race No. 38, starting at 1:05 p.m.
"The team is excited for this weekend. The boats have been moving well and getting good speed. This will be good practice for the Head of the Charles," says senior captain Zachary Johnson.
Johnson's sentiments seem to be echoed by coach Gladstone, who remarked; ""I'm very happy with the work that's being done this Fall, we're excited to get a chance to be competitive this weekend."
Fans coming from the downtown New Haven area can catch a free shuttle bus from in front of Payne Whitney Gym to Yale's Gilder Boathouse in order to cheer on the Elis. Next weekend the squad will travel up to Boston for the Head of the Charles, Oct. 19-20.
Report filed by Ari Zimmet '16, Yale Sports Publicity.