WILLIAMSTOWN, MA - Both the men's and women's Williams crew teams celebrated the near end of the indoor season this weekend with their annual "Mad Cows" competition. The event consists of three 2000m pieces: one is completed on Friday afternoon, and the rowers are then seeded into preliminary heats based on their times. On Saturday morning, the rowers compete in their 2000m heat in order to be placed into one of four finals. The finals occur on Saturday afternoon and the final 2000m pieces are rowed on sliders rather than stationary ergs.
In order to mimic the races the teams will be taking on this spring, the rowers were set up in "boats" of eight, four, or two people by linking their ergs together on sliders. These "boats" then raced against their respective counterparts: men's "1V" against women's "1V," men's "2V" against women's "2V" and so on. Everyone not in the process of rowing lines the sides of the gym, cheering their teammates on, and you can hear the deafening roar from the locker rooms. Coaches and teammates keep up with the race proceedings by watching a screen at the front of the gym that displays the distance left in the race and the distance between the two racing teams.
Due to all of the excitement, hard work, and competition, junior coxswain Ava Palmo attests that "Mad Cows is the perfect way to end our tough winter training season. Everyone has the opportunity to show the fitness they've built up." Ava is referring to the long period of indoor lifting and erging that both teams take on in between fall and spring seasons. A lot of endurance training and muscle mass is built up as the rowers try to make the most of their time off the water.
Sophomore Masa Peterson said, "Mad Cows was a great opportunity to put all our training to the test. We've been training hard all year, put some serious work in as we've gone back in season, and it all showed this weekend." Many of the women's team members pulled personal bests in one or more of the three 2ks, which bodes well for the spring racing season.
Mad Cows is a great way to get back into racing mentality and get excited for the spring. The entire event took place in front of a white board that read "6 days until Spring Break" and both men's and women's teams can't wait to get back on the water and take some strokes on the ICW down in Myrtle Beach, SC.