Willingness to compete will be the theme this fall as head coach Dan Gehn looks to instill a new mindset in his team.
Men’s rowing will look to adopt a ‘racing mindset’ as they work to make major improvements this season. To achieve this, they will do a lot of seat racing where two boats compete next to each other on a weekly basis.
Fall practices focus on longer distances than the spring 2000-meter sprints. The team goal is to increase competitiveness with boats staggered 15 seconds apart to see which crews can catch the boats in front of them. This approach will enable all rowers to gain more racing experience everyday and instill the new competitive mindset in each member of the team.
After having a young group last season, including two novices in the Varsity Eight, experience will be a key to team success. Look for team captain Cole Garcia to set the pace. There is a strong sophomore class that is also expected to make an impact along with newcomer Jack Oberle. In addition, Gehn never rules out the possibility of novices stepping in and contributing to team success.
The two biggest regattas are the Head of American in Rancho Cordova, California on Oct. 29, and the Head of the Lake in Seattle on Nov. 6. The team is excited to be rowing against the University of Washington at the Head of the Lake and compete with talented teams like California, Stanford, Santa Clara, and San Diego at the Head of American.
While Gehn wants his team to perform at a high level, he wants his athletes to have success in the classroom as well.
“Last year they did a good job of that,” he said. “We need to be in better shape on the rowing machine and and be in attack mode while racing.”
By challenging his well-rounded athletes to compete inside and outside of practice, Coach Gehn is setting the bar high for his team to propel them forward in the spring.
“We need to learn to race hard and be less concerned about how we finish," he said. "If we focus on how we operate during the race, we will all be happy with the results.”