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Join Stephen Pugh on his Rowing Adventure!

April 12, 2011

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By Stephen Pugh

They say it’s the oldest collegiate sport, pre-dating even those early leather helmet football games, but it’s not a widespread and well-known sport-outside of maybe the Northeast. When I was assigned to market the University of Miami rowing program, I have to admit, I wasn’t completely sure what rowing entailed outside of some long hours on those painful rowing machines in the gym. So I figured I should try and find out.

Head Rowing Coach Andrew Carter, in his second season at the University of Miami, probably thought I was crazy, but gladly agreed to let me join the rowing team for a week to find out what collegiate rowing is all about. After spending a day last week with the team, speaking with Coach Carter about the program and seeing what the team goes through on a normal day, I’m starting to think I might be crazy for wanting to do this. But I’m excited to spend the next four days with the team, to see if I have what it takes to be a University of Miami rower, and go inside a sport that not many people know about.

The rowing team is coming off a weekend in New Jersey at the Knecht Cup where they experienced some solid results for a program that is still building for the future. The next two weeks will be used for final preparations before the ACC Championships in Clemson, South Carolina. A team made up of mostly freshman and sophomores, Coach Carter is still teaching as much as he is coaching as it’s a constant balancing act between talent and inexperience.

I hope you’ll join me over the next four days as I hope to get a taste of the daily rituals that these dedicated student-athletes go through, figure out the intricacies of the sport of rowing, and see if I have what it takes to hang with a Division I rowing program. If only the bus wasn’t leaving at 5:55 a.m. every morning.

Check back daily for exclusive photos and video of myself and the Hurricanes in action at practice, both at land and at sea.