Going with the flow: Colorado Crew

When two transfer students from the University of San Diego found themselves at a school without a rowing team, they set out to change that.

Colorado Crew was born in the fall of 1992 and has since grown into one of the largest club sports at CU. Head Men’s Colorado Rowing coach, Adam Swetlik rowed for CU from 2006-2010

“I joined crew the same way 90% of our athletes do,” says Swetlik, who was approached by a Crew member during his first week as a CU Freshman; “I was not an athlete and knew nothing about rowing prior to college, but ended up being a captain of the team and Head Coach.”

A typical rowing season spans three-quarters of the year, starting in fall and ending in spring. Head racing season takes place in the fall, explains Swetlik. Head racing season takes place mainly on long rivers, with trial races 4,000-6,000 meters in length. Ten large schools travel to Iowa and Kansas to compete at these events each fall.

Winter takes place a rigorous six days a week in the Rec Center’s brand new rowing studio. The training is mostly rowing machine and weight-based, preparing the team for the several rowing-machine-based competitions in Denver during the winter season.

We’re currently in what Swetlik claims to be the “fastest and most exciting part of the year.” Spring races are fast-paced and plentiful, with 10-30 programs at each of the four large races.

Races are 2000m sprints, with 6-8 teams in a side by side race.  The team will travel to Austin, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, Oak Ridge, TN, and Gainseville, GA (home of the 1996 Olympic games), and will compete against some of the best crews in the nation at the PAC-12 Championship.

Despite the majority of team members being without previous rowing experience, Colorado Crew has sent more than one athlete to train for the Olympics.

“That’s one of the coolest things about rowing and why I’ve stayed involved,” expresses Swetlik.

The team was not exempt from the wrath of September’s flood. Members are raising money to replace a safety launch, a type of motor that was destroyed in the disaster as well as several two and four-person boats to replace some of their aging fleet.

Catch the team at the RE/MAX of Boulder Pearl Street office during Bands on the Bricks this summer to learn more and to help replace the lost and aging equipment the team depends on.

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