One of Brandeis’ hidden gems is the club rowing team. The team was established in 1986, in true Brandeis fashion, because of the passion and initiative of two students. Since its founding, the team has expanded into the ranks of Division III club sports as a co-ed organization. A few recent accolades for the team include: Women’s NECRL League Champions (2009), Men’s and Women’s NECRL League Champions (2012) and Textile River Regatta, where the Novice Men’s Four won a Gold Medal. The club is divided into the novice program for beginner rowers and the varsity team for returning rowers or those with previous experience. Continuing this momentum and keeping up with competitive rowing programs across the country this past season, the varsity team made semifinals at the Aberdeen Dad Vail regatta.
This year the team welcomed thirty novice rowers, with experiences ranging from being on a competitive team in high school to those who have never participated in an organized sport, and everything in between, according to the team’s public relations liaison, Julia Doucett ’16. The team is currently being led by Head Coach Catherine Davie, Novice Coach Stephanie Cox, men’s captain Will Jones ’18 and women’s captain Mozelle Shamash-Rosenthal ’16.
The team looks to gain more recognition from the Brandeis students and administration and increase the size of the team and performance at regattas this year. As seen on the teams website’s description page, the rowing team’s primary goal is to “foster teamwork, dedication and persistence in a competitive atmosphere geared toward the success of the crew through by improving the strength, endurance, technique, and motivation of the team.”
On Sunday, Sept. 12, the team hosted an alumni regatta event. According to Doucett, the event was a success with excellent weather and everyone in attendance had a fun time. Highlights included a boat christening ceremony in which they announced the name of their new boat to be “The Margo Adler.” Margo Adler is the mother of Alexandra Libstag ’15, the previous women’s captain and an inspiration to the team. Doucett explained that “the name is meant to evoke the incredible strength of our captain and her mother, and remind us what can be accomplished with if you have a strong enough drive.”
One notable team member, the co-president Bess Alshvang ’16 contributes to the team by leading executive board while co-president Alexa Myers ’17 also contributes by keeping the team functional. Also working to help the rowing team this year is Shamash-Rosenthal, who Doucett described as having “done a lot to keep our current team motivated and [helping] out a lot running practice for the novices.”
To generate interest in crew, the team will have a table at the upcoming farmers market in October. There they will be promoting their “Rent-a-Rower” service, where you can support the team by paying team members to do odd-jobs.
To see the Brandeis rowing team in action, the team competes in 5-kilometer head races in the fall, and 2-kilometer side-by-side sprints in the spring.