Although the rowing team may be small and relatively unknown to the Hendrix community, the team performed well at the Six Bridges Regatta on the weekend of Oct. 13.
“We did pretty well. We raced one boat that was a mixed eight, so both male and female, and we got third place in that event,” Rowing Club President Emily Taylor Stone said. “We also raced a women’s four and got second place in that event.”
Currently, the rowing team has mostly female members, so they compete mainly in female and mixed events at most competitions. This is their first year participating in competitions, but they’ve existed as a team for three years. The last two years have consisted of building up the amount of rowers and equipment that the team has, along with acquiring a place to consistently practice.
The rowing team practices approximately three times per week. There are two opportunities each week for members to practice in Conway at Beaver Fork Lake on weekdays. On weekends, the team travels to Little Rock and to practice at the Arkansas Boathouse Club.
“We have a really good relationship with the Arkansas Boathouse Club. One of their masters is our coach, so we’ve received a lot of support from them in terms of borrowing equipment and stuff like that,” Stone said.
While in Little Rock, the team is able to practice on a much larger body of water with larger boats. Five kilometers of space is typically needed to race each boat, as some of the boats are up to 63 feet long.
Currently, there are approximately 50 people on the rowing team. However, only a dozen or so of those 50 people attend practice regularly. This is because some students are a part of the team for the sake of competing, while others use the team as a space to learn techniques and gain rowing experience.
“We have a membership expectation level of zero. If you want to be a member of the club and just go out in a boat occasionally then you can. Above all, we’re out there to have fun,” Rowing Club Vice President Michael Williams said
The team makes most practices open, as well as optional, as opposed to required.
“We know that everyone is a college student, and everyone has lives. So we try not to have any practices that are mandatory, except for those who are competing,” Williams said.
Outside of practicing on water, there are land workouts. Land workouts offer members an opportunity to do basic conditioning.
“Rowing is a full body workout. You have to use legs, core, and arms all the time. And you have to do a lot of cardio. So we try to provide those opportunities for land workouts,” Stone said.
Using the ergometer machine is the most important part of a land workout. The rowing team actually owns one, which is located in the Wellness and Athletic Center. The ergometer not only helps members with practicing their technique, but with practicing pacing as well.
“We also try to do some none athletic stuff. Some members will miss dinner in the cafeteria after Sunday workouts in Little Rock, so we always cook a meal for them. We try to have social events too,” Stone said.
The rowing team has members of all different fitness levels, from student athletes to those who have never been on an athletic team before. In addition, the team also has members with differing rowing experience and capabilities, from experienced rowers to beginners.
“There’s a spot in the boat for anyone and everyone,” Williams said.
The team is currently getting ready for a competition in November in Kansas.