Men’s First Eight Evaluation

Mens First Eight Evaluation:

Here is my PDF chart for the Men’s First eight: Mens_1st_Eight

OK – Maybe I’ve changed my mind.  Perhaps the Men’s 1st Eight is the most competitive event this season.  Whichever I choose I’ll make someone mad.  If I waffle I can make both groups mad 😉

I guess it is pretty obvious from the chart.  This is a close group.

Thomas Jefferson is clearly on the top.  And until someone gets up and beats them, they get to wear the crown.  Oh yes, there is the St Albans ‘elephant in the room’, but we probably won’t see them until states.  And while 2.5 seconds might seem very close, I’m not convinced that the obviously mature group in this shell aren’t controlling the pace and might not have shown us if they have another gear.

Oakton follows with what looks to be their strongest team yet.  Again – while the races have been close – no one has been able to best them.  They clearly fall into the second position.  Madison has been unable to best Oakton in a head-to-head match-up (twice), and clearly deserve third.

So what about Yorktown?  They were part of that close finish at the end of the Regional Park.  To be honest, I knock them down (just a notch) in my evaluation because their heat looked to be less competitive than the second heat containing TJ/Oakton/Madison.  This might be a bad call, but if you look to the final, both Westfield and Woodbridge look to have slipped compared to their heat.  So Yorktown either had something left after their first race, or really cranked it up for the second.  My experience leads me to choose the first case.  Future races will be needed to see.

Westfield looks like they just haven’t been able to reach the next level in competition yet (but perhaps their battle with Yorktown hurt them)  Robinson looks like they rowed an improved heat this past weekend, but were unable to get to the finals.  The same could be said for Forest Park.  Woodbridge just seemed to struggle.  It will be interesting to see if they can bounce back.  It is really too early to rule out Lake Braddock as well.

Despite the close grouping I see TJ/Oakton/Madison as a clear 1-2-3.  TJ looks to have the edge, and hopefully Oakton and Madison can use each other to improve and creep closer to that top position.

Here’s how I would rank them today:
Thomas Jefferson: 0
Oakton: 3
Madison: 4
Yorktown: 5-6
Robinson: 6-7
Forest Park: 7-8
Westfield: 8-9
Lake Braddock: 11-12
Woodbridge: 11-14
West Springfield: 12-20
South County: 17

Whitman (?) – I would like to see another race…

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