By Sara Kay, Features Editor
Before sunrise practices. Hauling heavy boats into the water. Rowing. The Hofstra Crew Team knows all of these phrases well, because it is what they do every day.
"Monday through Friday we have practice at 5:30 a.m. It's definitely a time commitment," said Tim Lynch, senior captain and president of the crew team.
The crew team, which seems intimidating to most people because of their early practices and intense physical workouts, is very open to new recruits with even the least bit of experience, to none at all. The 25-member team, comprised of male and female rowers of all levels of rowing expertise, has certainly come a long way as a team, having won gold and silver medals in several different races and is beginning to compete against Division 1 schools.
"We've raced against University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, Temple, University of Michigan. We hold our own. We don't get blown out of the water."
The make up of the rowing team at the University consists of boats with either four or eight rowers, with a coxswain sitting at the head of the boat keeping the pace of the rowing and calling out directions for the rowers to follow as they are racing.
For Lynch, crew was something that wasn't originally on his list of sports to look into when he got to the University, having played ice hockey and baseball in high school. "I was walking to class the first week of freshman year, staring at the ground, naturally, and I see written in chalk on the ground ‘Join Hofstra Crew, no experience needed, great way to stay in shape." From there, Tim became an asset to the crew team as both a rower and a leader, and is now captain and president for the second year in a row.
The thought of waking up in the wee hours of the morning may not be appealing to some students, but the ones who are brave enough to do it have made the crew team a strong presence on the University campus, with large recruitment efforts whenever possible and upcoming opportunities to prove their talent in big races in the spring.
Upcoming races for the crew team include the Knecht Cup, April 10-11, Metropolitan Championships on April 24, New York State Championships May 1 and 2 and the Dad VAILS Regatta on May 7 and 8. This is the world's largest collegiate regatta, and the crew team plans to put up a good fight against big schools in competition.
After Lynch graduates in May, he hopes to see the team that has grown so much since he joined four years ago continue to grow. "Growth is nice, but I want to see people enjoy what they're doing and having fun, while still being competitive."