Team picks up from where it left off last year

PHILADELPHIA -- This is no longer a team that brings in stragglers from other spring sports.

New Canaan Crew's advanced rowers represented New Canaan and its high school well Sunday on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. Eleven rowers from New Canaan High School joined 400 entrants from 54 cities in seven states in the Manny Flicks 1500-meter sprint event, hosted by the Philadelphia Scholastic Rowing Association.

The results demonstrated how the winter training season paid off for the New Canaan crew team. The strong training methodology and hard work translated into extraordinary results not just on the ergometer (rowing machine), but ultimately on the water.

Marianne Hoeft took first place in the girls varsity single with a time of 6:22:45, finishing with a full 38-second margin ahead the second-place boat. Sarah Liffmann and Lily Gorman raced to a third-place finish in their lightweight double with a time of 6:09:35.

Five minutes later in the next flight, teammates Olympia Bordelon and Katherine Stevenson, rowing at almost exactly the same pace -- 6:09:31, just four one-hundredths of a second faster -- earned a first-place finish in their flight.

The boys varsity had equally strong finishes in Philly. Will Dannemann, Charlie Kelly, Charlie Campbell and Roger Stone's varsity quad finished first in their flight (4:42:04). Andrew Campbell and Alec Buckenheimer also sprinted to first place in their lightweight double with a time of 5:03:15.

Strong training, low erg scores and top regatta finishes have also put New Canaan crew on the radar of top college crew coaches, as has been the case in recent years with this program.

Coaches know that highly competitive "erg" scores can translate into 20- to 30-second winning margins on the water, as in the case of Campbell and Buckenheimer, who won their sprint by 27 seconds.

With a highly competitive average erg score of 6:25 for 2,000 meters, New Canaan crew's advanced rowers are getting noticed. Current seniors have already accepted spots on freshman teams at Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown and the University of California at Berkeley.

A source in the program also said college coaches have begun to key in on the team's juniors.

Yet, the team's season is just beginning and the club sport is always looking for new athletes, despite its competitive and successful pedigree. New Canaan Crew coaches can assist rowers of all ages and levels improve their performance. More than 90 rowers are already registered with New Canaan High School crew, the Maritime Rowing Club and St. Luke's crew for the spring season.

For more information, visit www.newcanaancrew.com for the high school level, or www.maritimerowing.net for middle school rowing and summer rowing camps. Call the boathouse at 203-854-5492.