I guess an introduction is in order. I’m Philip Brune, a senior on the Crew team. Rowers are an odd lot, as is shown by the fact that we practice almost every morning at 6 a.m. At UR, we get additional insanity points because at that hour the temperature is often below 30 degrees. While we have obvious mental issues, we are more or less physically normal, apart from being incredibly superb. We have probably been in a class with you – we’re usually the ones sound asleep.Last weekend was our first race. It was against RIT, our despised and evil rivals. Just two days before race day, they destroyed one of their own boats to try and intimidate us. Races, especially in the spring, are a very big deal. If fall racing constitutes the regular season and winter is an oddly located pre-season, then spring season is the playoffs, Super Bowl, World Series and World’s Strongest Man Competition all rolled into one. In the fall and winter we practice two hours a morning, six days a week – a schedule that amounts to roughly 384 hours of preparation per season – if you don’t believe me, then you don’t understand math. If you do understand math, you’ll have also noticed that I have been using the words “we” and “our” a lot. Crew is a team sport, with typically eight rowers working together along with a coxswain, who is often short and seldom given any props. Now that you understand the sport completely, you are ready for our first batch of results.Right now, I row in the Varsity Men’s 8. We finished the course – a stretch on the Genesee River by the Jefferson Road Bridge – in 6 minutes and 4.70 seconds. That was 12 seconds faster than RIT. It was a promising and noble start to the season. The Junior Varsity women were the other winners of the day. Their time of 7 minutes and 6.75 seconds beat their RIT opponents by 19 seconds – another noble and fatiguing victory. The Lightweight Varsity women raced the Heavyweights from RIT and fought very bravely, finishing with a time of 7 minutes, 21 seconds. The Novice men at seven minutes and 19.91 seconds and Novice women at 7 minutes and 46.97 seconds began their first ever spring racing seasons by rowing fiercely and tenaciously in a losing effort.Brune can be reached at pbrune@campustimes.org.

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