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Crew at Top Colleges

thehistorian421thehistorian421 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
edited August 2011 in Athletic Recruits
I'm a male heavyweight rower from the Boston area with decent grades, great test scores, and a very good 2k. I want to get recruited to a top school with a good rowing culture. Can anyone recommend certain teams and explain why they are desirable? Also information about the team size, quality of boathouse, quality of river/body of water, amount of interaction with lightweights/girls team, presence of rowing fraternities/fraternities with many rowers in them, and the team's influence on campus would be very helpful and much appreciated.

Colleges/Universities in which I am especially interested: Penn, Dartmouth, UC Berkeley, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Georgetown, Williams.

Post edited by thehistorian421 on

Replies to: Crew at Top Colleges

  • 3xboys3xboys Registered User Posts: 319 Member
    What year are you? When you begin to go on unofficial and official visits you will get a great sense of the different cultures at the different programs. Of your list and off the top of my head, I'd say Berkeley would absolutely be the most intense and competitive, Williams the least (it's Division III). Look at the recent results at Eastern Sprints and IRAs to see how the teams have fared. The top teams are - naturally - going to have the most competitive programs. You may want that. You may not. My older son was offered multiple likely letters but a)picked the school he liked most first and b)was OK with a less successful program because he wanted to be able to have a full college experience.

    That said, rowing in a Division 1 program is really, really intense and consumes a huge amount of time and effort. In the end, you probably train the same number of hours and intensity at any Division 1 program, but the Team culture and feeling will vary from school to school.

    You should spend some time thinking about how important it is to you to be on a winning team. If you are used to being in boats that cross the finish line first, winning - or at least good results - may be something you really value. If your high school team is not in the habit of winning, results may be less important to you which will give you more flexibility in terms your college options.
  • thehistorian421thehistorian421 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    I'm a rising senior, though I haven't visited any campuses yet. Of these schools I mentioned in the thread I've made plans for unofficial visits to Penn, Columbia, Brown, and Dartmouth. My current first choice, Penn, looks most promising because I expressed a lot of interest in the school, and I told the coach I would probably apply ED. Because of that the head coach has already invited me on an official visit. He told me that my AI (Academic Index) was above that of the average recruit, and that my 2k time (6:34.0) was about average for the team. I'm also pretty sure the head coach likes me a lot; my interactions with the him went very well, and one of his personal friends whom I know, a Penn rowing alumnus, spoke to him on my behalf. If I like the campus, and don't screw up my application, I think I have a good shot at getting in.

    I want to double major in English and History, and when I found out that UC Berkeley's English and History departments were both ranked #1 in the country, and they had a very competitive D1 crew team, I became concerned that I had overlooked a better school for me. My concerns about Berkeley are: its distance from home, weather (I love autumn), weak Greek life, and the fact that it might be considered less prestigious than Penn. Also, Penn's English and History departments are rated within the top 10, and my parents said the difference between #1 and #10 is negligible. Also, there is a great community/free space for creative writers at Penn called the Kelly Writers House, which appeals to me.

    As far as what I'm used to/how much do I like to win goes, I'm used to doing reasonably well and competing at prestigious regattas, but I've never medaled at a super-important race. I row at CRI, and while the boys team consistently does reasonably well, we live constantly in the shadow of the girls team's success, which is irritating.

    You bring up a great point about balancing team involvement with the full university experience. This may be too ambitious, but ideally I want to be on a DI team, double major, finish my first novel, and be part of a fraternity by the end of college. Also, if I go to Penn, I want to be part of that writers' community I mentioned. Will the difference in competitiveness between UCB and Penn have an influence on my ability to achieve those aspirations?
  • 3xboys3xboys Registered User Posts: 319 Member
    Have you been in contact with the UCB freshman coach? I know someone who was recruited there with a 6:28 but I don't know if 6:34 will be enticing to them (that probably depends on your size!). That team experience will be considerably different than Penn. They may race against each other at IRAs, but they might as well be in two different leagues. If you really love rowing, and yet want to accomplish all those other things in college at the same time, my advice would be to be grateful for the interest from Penn and forget about UCB. To be in the V1 boat at UCB would take every bit of your energy you have to spare.

    Do you have any other official visits planned? It is great to have at least two if you can so you can use one school's interest to prod the other's if necessary!
  • fenwaysouthfenwaysouth Registered User Posts: 988 Member
    thehistorian421 said....This may be too ambitious, but ideally I want to be on a DI team, double major, finish my first novel, and be part of a fraternity by the end of college.

    "Wow" is the only word I can come up with (no matter where you go). Do you plan on sleeping at all? I wish you the best in your multiple efforts.
  • thehistorian421thehistorian421 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    I'm 6'1 and 185 pounds, and with that time it may not be enough for UCB. I'm not exactly a natural athlete, but I have been rowing since 8th grade. That's good advice; I love rowing, but I'm not going to be an Olympian or professional athlete. I do, however, wish to write professionally or become a college professor. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but the prestige of an Ivy is also quite important to me.

    I haven't any other official visits planned yet, which is mostly because my dialogue with the other coaches has been sparser. I also screwed up when talking to the Columbia coach by telling him I was going to apply ED to Penn. My second choice is probably Dartmouth, but it's been especially difficult to coordinate even an unofficial visit there because my Mom hates the school with a burning passion.
  • thehistorian421thehistorian421 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    @fenwaysouth: Thanks, and you're probably right. I may have to prioritize...Can't you take classes over the summer, though?
  • Cardinal16Cardinal16 Registered User Posts: 142 Junior Member
    Hahaha you sound like a funny dude, idk why I think so. I don't row or anything, but I go to a school where it's prominent and many of my friends do. Definitely as a recruiting generality, never tell anyone your going to apply ED somewhere else. That almost sounds like you've already committed there and your looking for back ups. Also, make sure your selling yourself as someone who's looking for a slot from the coach. Good luck, I like Penn a lot for my sport too.
  • thehistorian421thehistorian421 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    @Cardinal16: Yeah, that was really dumb, but I think I'm too slow to get into Columbia anyway.
  • Cardinal16Cardinal16 Registered User Posts: 142 Junior Member
    If I were you I'd e-mail all the coaches where you're a good fit and let them know your interested. Discreetly mention that you have a Penn OV lined up but that your very interested in them. It should all work out; that's what I tell myself every day haha.
  • thehistorian421thehistorian421 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    Haha. I hear letting other coaches know that you already have an OV makes them get a bit territorial about athletes.
  • fenwaysouthfenwaysouth Registered User Posts: 988 Member

    Again, I wish you the best. From what I've read your priorities may be somewhat "long" but you are passionate about these endevours. Here is my two cents.....you obviously are a driven young man with many talents. You need to focus on what is going to get you where you want to be in a few years. You said you will not be an Olympic rower, but want to be a writer or professor.....go with that. Most college athletes come to the conclusion they will not be Olympic athletes or go Pro at some point in their career. My son realized it his senior year of high school just as you have, but he is enjoying every minute of college athletics nonetheless.

    You are split between West coast schools and East coast schools for rowing. I would focus on the educational perspective first which would lead me to Penn, Dartmouth, Columbia in your case. Try to get visits as soon as possible with those schools. If the coaches can't committ to an official, go on an unofficial on "your dime" if it is not cost prohibitive. You need to see these schools and meet these coaches NOW......and whatever you do.....don't talk about committing or EDing to the other schools except for the school that will commit to you. Best of luck.
  • tallgirltallgirl Registered User Posts: 170 Junior Member
    You wrote "My older son was offered multiple likely letters"

    Would you be so kind as to elaborate as to how that came to pass?

    I am a rising junior and relatively new to exploring athletic recruitment, but I was under the impression one can only get one Likely Letter as the coach first understandably requires you to commit to their school as your first choice -- ie "If you offer me one of your very few recruiting slots, I 100% promise I will attend."
  • thehistorian421thehistorian421 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    Thanks, fenwaysouth. I've gotten a lot of excellent feedback from people here, which is clearing up many of my anxieties/uncertainties. You're right, in that in most cases it's really the education that matters most.
  • fogfogfogfog Registered User Posts: 4,056 Senior Member

    Your CRI coaches have experience with what a heavy weight needs to row, and what your academic stats need to be for the ivies, D1 etc. You really need to speak with them about where they see a fit for you.

    Have you already been in contact with the college coaches with your stats, both academic and athletic? OVs will be offerred soon for first round.
  • 3xboys3xboys Registered User Posts: 319 Member
    He talked with every coach after his officials and they either a)told him outright they would get him a likely letter if he wanted to come there or b)answered that they would offer him a likely when he asked if they would. Each time he said something to the effect of "Thank you very much. You are near the top of my list but I am not going to decide until I have all my officials." They were all willing to wait. After his last visit, he decided that the final school was the one for him and took the likely they offered BUT he had already applied to ALL the schools RD and told his final choice that he would change his application to ED when he had his likely in hand. (A coach told me to do that and it was kind of a genius idea - a way to hang on to your leverage until you actually get the promised letters.)

    thehistorian421, my advice is to call/email every coach with whom you have had contact. Ask them outright if there is a chance they will offer you an official visit. If you are on their radar, they will let you know. If you are not, they will let you know that too. If you could get at least one more OV, it would be terrific. Coaches like to know that other people want the guys they want - it makes them feel more secure! Good luck!
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