The UNH men’s and women’s crew teams will be getting additional training during their spring break.

On March 10, 54 student athletes and five members of the coaching staff will travel to Gainesville, Georgia’s Lake Lanier for 10 days of workouts. Lake Lanier was the site of the rowing events in the 1996 Olympics. The lake is large enough for the standard 2-kilometer racing events, as well as longer stretch runs.

“The facilities in Georgia allow the team to transition from the winter land training to water training,” head coach Rachel Rawlinson said. “This training gives us the opportunity for student-athletes to get into boats again and hone their rowing technique on the water.”

The coaches use a unique model for training the rowers.

“Imagine a pyramid shape with multiple levels,” Rawlinson explained. “The first one or two layers involve what is called steady state, basic aerobic work. The next level involves the anaerobic threshold work; the athletes push themselves hard, training their bodies to deal and process the junk the muscles create during these workouts.”

She continued, “The final three levels are focused primarily on getting the student athlete’s body ready specifically for 2-kilometer racing-power endurance effort.  During our training trip, the athletes get to do this work for the first time on the water, with an oar in their hands, in conjunction with their teammates.”

Senior captains Megan Mottola and Zack Weider spoke about the upcoming training.

“Lake Lanier gives the teams plenty of room to race and work out,” Megan Mottola said. “The teams will be staying at a nearby hotel; however we will be taking advantage of the 1996 Olympic facilities for training.”

“We were down there last year, and it’s a blast, “Weider said. “The facilities are great, and we enjoyed playing pickup sports against the other colleges too.”

Mottola was a rower on the Susan L. Harning last October. This was the boat, rowed by Mottola, Emily Lane, Alison Smith, Sydney Michalak and David Desaulniers, that won the gold at the Charles River Regatta. The boat was named after the late mother of UNH rower Lisa Harning.

“One of my lasting memories from that day was the announcer calling out: ‘These rowers are rowing for their Mom.’” Mottola said. “It was very emotional and uplifting.”

Weider concurred. “The win was a victory for the whole crew program and all of UNH. The rowers set a fine example, and the message is that hard work and motivation will pay off.”

Coach Rawlinson reflected on the impact of last October’s gold medal, and the bright future of the UNH Rowing program.

“Our success last fall is a traditional representation of what our team is capable of, both women’s and men’s. These student-athletes are astounding human beings. They excel in the classroom, as the overall GPA of 3.2 indicates. This is done while managing training weeks of at least 20 hours. They are also philanthropists, volunteering in community events like the Huntington ’s Disease Awareness of America Walk, and fundraisers like our annual Rent-a-Rower every fall.  They are ambassadors for our program and the University of New Hampshire.”

The complete schedule for UNH Crew, along with rosters and opportunities for supporters to make contributions, is available at unh.edu/unhrowing.     

“We get a lot of support in both Durham and Dover,” explained Rawlinson. “Recent access to the Cocheco River in Dover the past two years has really helped the teams prepare for competition. Also, we get support from our alumni and friends.” 

“We are very excited for the spring,” Rawlinson said.

Executive Editor