Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints 2012 and (Men’s) Predictions

The Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints are over.

They are posted at the Mid Atlantic Erg Sprint Site.

Georgia over at DMV Rowing has written up some good comments on the races.  She also has poll for whom she should send questionnaires too.  Vote in the poll!  I added a comment down below suggesting a question (she didn’t ask – but… what the heck!)  It is a question I have wondered about myself.   I really like what she is doing with her blog – I hope it continues.


Reflections on the Erg Sprints:

The Erg sprints look even bigger than before.  The sport continues to grow.  The projected regattas at the Occoquan look like they will be even bigger this year.  I hope they order more porta-potties.

Looking at the erg sprint results, I think you need to develop some sort of a strategy for evaluating them.  Not all teams participate.  Not all rowers participate.  Different strategies prevail for how the teams approach the erg sprints.

For example:  St Albans, Gonzaga, and Walt Whitman seem to steer their men towards the 20 minute row – rather than the 1500 and 2000 meter events.  I would be curious why they do this.   I suspect that it matches their training at this point in the season – which focuses on endurance rather than improving the 5-6 minute pieces.  Many of the other teams seem to spread their rowers in the 500,1500,2000 meter events.

Because rowers enter a new age group each year, unless you know the rowers individually, it is a tricky proposition to try to make some early season predictions based on what we see in these results.

Only a fool would try….

With that in mind – here are some early season predictions I’ll throw out based on the erg sprints:

(Note: The grew longer than I expected – I’ll be back to revisit the Women’s side)


Men’s Eight:

St Albans has to be a contender.  I think it is an easy prediction (and a worthless one) to say they won’t be as good as last year (when they won Stotes.)   Last year they had 5 rowers in the top 11 finishers.  This year they had 5 rowers in the top 17.  While that sounds less impressive – the competition this year looks to be significantly more robust (and the total meters by those 5 exceeded last year.)  I don’t know how they will fare in the overall DC area (Gonzaga looks to have some depth) – but they are my choice to be the Virginia Champion once again.

Thomas Jefferson:  Always competitive teams.  It is very hard to judge their skill based on representation at the sprints.   TJ did take 1st and 3rd in the 16-year-old men’s division – so they clearly have talent.  I don’t doubt that they could take the top position, but -for now – I place them in the second position.

Yorktown: So difficult to tell.  Again – they appear to be under- represented.  Based on history I would keep this team in the top 6 for now.  We’ll have to wait to see how the season shapes up.

Westfield:  A big team, and the biggest mover last year.  Taking second at the Virginia Championships, they were a surprise to everyone – except for my prediction – of course… 😉  Are they a new dynasty and entry to the tops teams?  Or was that a special year?  It will be exciting to see.

Oakton: Very good performances sprinkled throughout the erg sprints.  Can they put together a strong eight with all those rowers?  Looking at the results, I have to admit I’m intrigued.  Is Oakton the surprise powerhouse this year – providing the Occoquan competition to the St Albans’ powerhouse?  You heard it here first.

Forest Park:  Nothing that I can see here at the erg sprints. But this team was 6th in the Men’s first and second eights in the VA championships. At Stotes I remember being blown away by the performance of their second eight.  Was that a precursor of this season?  I’m excited to find out.

McLean:  A McLean rower took first in the Mens 17-year-old 2k event (Kris Hobbs.)  McLean is a strong team – will they aim for the eight or field a strong Men’s four?


Conclusion:

The more I look, the harder the choices.  But this is all about putting up targets and taking shots at them. But for the Virginia Men’s Eight this year – here is what I see:

Top dog: St Albans – in a class by themselves.

Solid Contender: Thomas Jefferson.  Always a contender, but will they get lost in a sea of competitive Nova teams? or will they be able to position themselves as the heir apparent to St Albans?

Biggest Surprise: Oakton.  With a larger team and some history behind them, I think Oakton has the potential to be the Westfields of the 2012 season.

Must be respected:  Forest Park.  Was last year a peak – or a glimpse of future greatness?  Could grow into a consistent challenger.

Past St Albans as a top pick, and TJ in the top 4 (yes), there are a lot of teams that could field strong teams this year.  I think we are seeing a leveling and improvement in the top of the Men’s Eight – a precursor to a very exciting year.

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