Oakland Strokes Goes Undefeated

Reese Levine, Staff Writer

Nearing the end of the fall season and after two regattas, the Oakland Strokes women’s varsity rowing team is still undefeated. They have traveled to Boston and Newport, and each time brought home victories against other national caliber rowing teams.

The team, which includes 14 women from Miramonte, meets six days a week and practices for up to four hours a day, working both on and off the water. The sessions are spent building up fitness and doing practice races to prepare for the regattas.

“This year we sent two boats to the Head of the Charles in Boston,” said team captain Laura Rosas ’13. “And our eight-person got first out of 60 boats.”

Along with winning at the Newport Autumn Rowing Festival (NARF), this effectively means that Oakland Strokes women’s team is ranked first in the nation.

In Boston, the Oakland Strokes boat finished the course in 17:52.58, a full eight seconds ahead of the nearest competitor. They backed up their impressive performance with a three-second win at NARF.

“To be completely honest, we weren’t expecting to win,” said Sara Cratsenburg ‘13. “We usually don’t do as well in the fall as in spring. When we knew we had won, it was really surreal.”

“There are around 60 girls, a pretty big team, but we’re kind of like a family,” said team captain Michelle Lee ‘12. Much of the team’s success can be attributed to how close they are to each other. Also important are the team captains, who are in charge of keeping the team together and working in harmony.

“We are the voice of the team,” said Rosas. “We’re there for a lot of moral support.”

Now that the fall season is wrapping up, the team is starting to prepare for the winter and spring season, which picks up in February. In the upcoming months they will be working on technique and building a fitness base, and spending a lot of time indoors now that it is getting dark earlier.

“After seeing how well we did in the fall, we’ve got a lot of confidence that the rest of the year will go even better,” said Cratsenburg.