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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 29, 1974)
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Ask an average student on the UN L campus about,
omen's crew and you may get all sorts of answers,
lany of those questioned might think women's crew
a group of ladies who clean residence hall restrooms
r a living. Others may think you are talking about;
le latest hairstyle for rock stars.
In reality, women's crew is a physically demanding
aort where nine girls row a long, narrow boat down a
iver at breathta kingly speeds. . . . '
This year's women's' crew team is an ambitious
unch, coached by a VHL sophomore, Jim Elstun
laid there is a simple explanation for his coaching
"There wasn't anyone else to do it," he said.
Last week I 'set forth to find out about UNL's
version of women's crew. Borrowing a page from
George Plimpton's Book, Paper Lion, I acquired
permission to practice with the team during last
Wednesday's workout. .
I had reason for apprehension as I got up for the
5:30 a.m. practice.
"Why the early practices?" I wondered. "Does Jim
Elstun have something to hide?" I imagined the girls
on the team as having the physiques of Mama Cass
Elliot and faces like Alice Cooper's.
Another fear I had was that I would make a
complete fool of myself in the boat. Or worse, I
would drown and give secret satisfaction to the
women's liberation members of the team.
As it turned out,'my worries were unnecessary.
The team is a cheerful, witty group who talked about
a variety of subjects not about how much weight
they could press.
Anxiety about my performance on the lake proved
The women's crew practices at Branched Oak.
Lake, a peaceful fishing and boating haven 20 miles
from Lincoln. On the way to the lake, a few of the
team members discussed their feelings about getting
up at 5:30 a.m. every morning.
"Once you're up it's great," Jane Anderson said.
"You'll be OK if you didn't do any catting around
the night before."
Marilyn Peters was slightly less enthusiastic. She
claimed she had to go to bed at 10 p.m. to get up for
the early practices.
Cocaptain Paula Brust had reason to wish she was
somewhere else on this particular morning. She had
just had some wisdom teeth removed and was not
crazy about rowing a boat.
"If I don't feel too hot they'll put someone else
in," she remarked through clenched teeth.
One unnerving feature of the car ride to the lake
was the women's insistence on describing the many
boat spills they had witnessed during their crew
careers. Only last week their own shell had taken on
too much water and sunk.
When we arrived at Branched Oak, the team
wasted no time getting the shell into the water. Under
the detailed instruction of coxswain Nancy Wood,
they had the boat in position in less time than I
would have thought possible.
Riding in the observation boat with Elstun, I
watched awestruck as the team propelled the craft
across the lake with the grace and timing of a
ballerina. It was truly poetry in motion and an effort
I knew wouldn't be duplicated once I was in the boat.
But I couldn't refuse when I was asked to give it a
try. As I dimbed into the shell I felt all eyes on ma.
Anderson carefully instructed me on what to do
once the craft got underway, but I had the feeling I
was doomed to humiliation. I was right.
After a few pitiful practice strokes, I decided not
to do any paddling and just went along for the ride.
However, as the craft began to glide across the water
at an exhilarating pace, I felt a surge of confidence.
Thinking it wasn't so hard after all, I tried to catch up
with the paddling rotation.
About 10 seconds later the shell pitched violently
and nearly tipped over, it didn't take much
investigation to find the source of the trouble. The
women who turned around saw the only male in the
Boat with a huge oar wrapped around his neck.
I found out later I had "caught a crab," which is
jargon for not keeping up with rest of the crew.
Several consoling remarks were made, which I greatly
appreciated. There were also some not too well
On the way home I found out about the annual
crew banquet to be held May 4. After last week's
experience I'll have immense respect for the award
winners. Now I realize just how much talent it takes
to be a member of a crew.
The trophies given at the banquet will be paddles
broken in practice, called the Cracked Oar Awards.
If the women ever take me on another practice,
they might be giving a Cracked Boat Award at their
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W - M
The UNL women's Softball
team closes its regular season
with games against Concordia
Stata College today and with
Midland College Tuesday. Both
contests begin at 5 p.m. on the
field behind the Women's
Physical Education Bldg.
Ernie Martin, 6 ft. 6 in.
forward from Denver
Community College, has
become the fourth basketball
player to sign a national letter
of intent to attend UNL.
The UNL golf team came
from sixth place after the first
day to tie Illinois State
University for the lead Friday
in the Drake Relays
Invitational. Illinois State then
won the sudden deatfi playoff
for the title.
The UNL crew finiied fifth
out of seven teams Saturday in
the Midwest Charripionship
Sprints at Madison, Wis. The
Huskers beat Notre Dame
University and Washburn
University and were just 14
seconds out of second place in
the 2,000 meter race. In other
events, both the freshmen and
women's teams finished third.
while the open four team took i
the consolation championship. 1
The Husker baseball record
dipped to 723 afte three
weekend defeats by Colorado
University. The Friday game
was a 2-1 22-inning marathon.
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11th & Cornhusker
M-F 3 12 :
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just arranged for N.U. students, faculty and
immediate family! $31 1 round trip-Chicago-Paris;
May 26-Aug. 9 Children under 1 2 half price.
Contact Flights Office, 204 Union, 472-2482-5
immediately for details.
dally nebrasksn ,
mondy, spril 23, 1974 '
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