Spring break has come to a close and so has the spring training trip for the MSU men’s club crew team.
The team traveled to Clemson, S.C. for eight days of training before the start of the spring season. They hit a bit of a snag when the site for spring training froze over, forcing them to migrate down South where they faced off against the University of Alabama this past Saturday.
Now that the team is back, and they are prepping for an exciting spring season that will see them travel to both Philadelphia, Pa. and Georgia.
Junior coxswain, Courtney Gough, is one of three females on the men’s club rowing team. As a coxswain, Gough says that she steers the boat, keeps the tempo, motivates and informs the crew.
“The feeling you get when you can successfully impact a crew and really work together is also just an amazing feeling,” Gough said.
Gough says she has high hopes for the season.
“My expectations for the season are pretty high considering the season we had last year,” Gough said.
Last year, at the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta, Gough’s boat competed in the Varsity Eight heavyweight category and placed second.
At the American Collegiate Rowing Association (ACRA) National Championships, MSU edged out UC Irvine for fourth place in the grand final by one second in the Varsity Eight competition. MSU came in at 5:55.7 and UC Irvine clocked in at 5:56.6. The Varsity Four boat fell to Northwestern in the semifinals coming in fifth place.
Overall, the season would turn out to be one of MSU Crew Club’s best seasons on record.
“We obviously have high hopes coming off of our last season, and have a target on our backs now to other schools,” Gough said. “We will have a tough challenge upholding the standard. However, I think with the guys we have, if we pull together, we can do it.”
While she is in it for the competition, Gough says she also loves crew for the friendships she has made.
“I enjoy the competition, I have always been a competitor and I love having that sense of competition in my life,” Gough said. “However, what I love most is probably the everyday interaction and friendships I have gained out of it. I have no doubt made life-long friends by joining this sport.”
While the team has done quite well recently, Gough says that there is still room for improvement.
“This season, I hope our team can really pull together as boats as we had quite a bit of turnover from last year,” Gough said. “We will really hope to work together to get one cohesive boat.”
MSU Crew Club will begin their spring season on April 12 in Spring Lake, Mich. at the Lubbers Cup Regatta.
Nathaniel Gaynor is the host of Coxswain for Impact Sports.
Photo: Michigan State Crew Club