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Second Varsity Eight Ready To Go

Fun in Sacramento
May 12, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The University of Connecticut rowing team will compete at the American Athletic Conference championship on Saturday, May 14 in Sacramento, Calif.

Leading up to the event, members of the team will write blogs to tell the story of the team. Thursday’s blog is from sophomore Shannon Cox, who is from Millbrook, N.Y., and is a member of the second varsity eight.

The championships will be carried live on The American Digital Network. CLICK HERE for the link. The league also has a Championship Central.

Here is Cox’s blog:

UConn rowing is ready for this conference championship. This is the thought that ran through my head as I collapsed over my oar after a solid practice piece on Wednesday. We’re ready and we’re eager.

From the bow of the second varsity eight, I have a perfect view of every blade in the boat, allowing me to watch the great effort my teammates have put forth all season. Throughout the spring, the second varsity eight has had a series of strong races, starting with our second place finish three seconds off UCF. We followed this up with a first place finish in the petite final at Murphy Cup and topped off the season with a trip to grand finals and overall fifth place finish at Knect Cup.

I have seen this boat pull some very fast times and I am excited to see what we can put forth at conferences. As bow seat, my most important job is to follow the stroke, but also every other rower in the boat. While this kind of support is critical in the bow, it is also something that every member of the team is familiar with.

I am always amazed that, in a sport where we are often competing with each other for seats, the team continues to be supportive of every aspect of each other’s lives. These girls are the first people that I call when I have a bad day, but also the people who share my successes. It’s not uncommon to see the weekly shirt given to someone who did well on an exam that she was worried about or someone who had an awesome job interview.

As a team, we champion each other’s achievements, on and off the water. Spending countless early mornings and bus rides together has created tremendous bonds between teammates. On Wednesday, we went to Old Sacramento as a team. By the end of the trip, everyone returned to the bus grinning and laughing. By design, we all have to spend a lot of time together, between hours of practice and team events, but during the trip to Old Sacramento, it was clear that we all genuinely enjoy each other’s company.

Coach Wendry stresses the importance of love in this sport and I know that the love we all feel for this team is one of the propelling forces on the water. In the second varsity eight, our coxswain makes calls using the names of the girls in our lineup. Knowing that you are pulling for the girl in front of or behind you makes every bit of pain during the race worthwhile. Our love for each other fuels our love for the sport, which is why I am confident that we will race well this weekend.