Pomfret School girls' crew team edged out in latest race
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Pomfret - posted Tue., Apr. 26, 2011
It was 50 degrees and raining when the Pomfret School girls’ crew team took to the water against Noble and Greenough on April 23. Pomfret’s young team competed hard, but Noble’s three boats came in ahead of Pomfret’s.
“When they do the placements, they look more at the margin of loss [the amount of time between boats] than the loss,” said coach Allison Kaufman, after the race. Although her team lost, she was encouraged that they performed well against tough competition.
“Noble and Greenough is a consistently strong team,” said Kaufman. “They are typically one of the top five teams in New England. The girls competed really hard today, and based at where they were off of Noble’s boats, it looks to be a really good, really competitive season.”
Last year, Pomfret’s first boat placed eighth in New England at the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association championship in Worcester. This year, Pomfret fields three boats, with two substitutes and four returning members. Everyone else is new, with the exception of the coxswain, Kaufman said.
Pomfret’s small team of dedicated athletes has brought a level of commitment to the program that rivals that of past years' teams, Kaufman said. The novices have worked hard to learn the technical aspects of the sport. "They remain motivated by focusing on the unity of our program," she said.
Each boat carries a crew of five. The front seat is the stroke seat, and this rower sets the pace for the team. The second, third and bow seats follow in order. The coxswain coordinates the team, steering and motivating the rowers. She is the eyes of the boat, because the rowers can’t look to see where the other boat is in the race. All movement not focused on rowing can upset the balance of the boat.
“What distinguishes a skilled crew is unity,” Senior captain Jaclyn Tules said after the race. “The team has to be moving together in almost everything they do.”
It’s unity and total commitment, according to Kaufman. “This is one of those sports where it’s total commitment all the time.”
Before the season started, the team lost one of its first boat-rowers. It had a big emotional impact on the team, Kaufman said. “She cannot row anymore, but she is here working out with the girls every day. She’s consistently devoted to the team.”
Pomfret has five races before the end of the season. Kaufman is keeping her eyes on the eighth team placement last year as the benchmark to beat.
Pomfret School Girls’ Crew Coach Allison Kaufman.
Third season with the team.
Thoughts on season: “I’m really optimistic we’ll make the New England’s. We row a difficult season. We face a lot of strong teams. The girls know what they’re in for. They’re real blood, sweat and tears sort of girls. They want it,” Kaufman said.
Seniors: Livy Wilmerding, Jaclyn Tules
Senior captain Jaclyn Tules is a highly-competitive, four-year rower. She can pull under 7:50 on the 2K ergometer score. A member of the first boat, Tules plans to row for Division 1 Bucknell University next year.
Senior captain Livy Wilmerding rows the third seat on Pomfret’s first boat, its most competitive boat. A four-year crew member, Wilmerding plans to pursue a studio arts degree at the University of Pennsylvania or Trinity College.