The Our Lady of Lourdes High School crew team has begun its preseason practices.
Some of them, so far, have been conventional: the annual indoor sprint ergometer race at Marist College, land training, and on Tuesday, the team’s first practice rowing in the water.
Other times, like Monday, proved a little different: The Warriors helped remove snow in front of the Hudson River Rowing Association building in the Town of Poughkeepsie.
“The snow plow couldn’t get everything,” Lourdes coach Erik Haight said. “Ninety-nine percent of the snow removal was done with equipment, but the kids spent 10, 15 minutes shoveling. It was a team bonding exercise.”
The Warriors open their season at the end of April in the Saratoga Invitational, and have been preparing as best they can despite the recent string of harsh weather.
Based on what he’s seen during workouts, Haight is encouraged.
“I’m very optimistic about the season,” the coach said. “The kids are all very committed to improving. They’re in great shape and we’re taking advantage of as much water time as we can get.”
Last week’s storm and the streak of low temperatures over the last two weeks prevented Lourdes from rowing in the water and relegated the Warriors to land training. Land training includes running, calisthenics and simulating rowing with an ergometer — an indoor rowing machine. Tuesday, though, the Warriors were able to row on the water for the first time this year.
“After three months of training on the land, it was great!” Haight said of his team’s workout. “The biggest nor’easter of the year (last Tuesday) impacted everybody, all sports.”
On Saturday at Marist, the Hudson River Rowing Association held its 17th annual indoor sprints. Rowers from Lourdes, Arlington, Wappingers, Spackenkill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Kingston participated.
Daniel Sweeney of Wappingers won the junior men’s lightweight 2,000-meter race in 7:10.9. Teammate Matthew Reilly won the junior men’s 2,000 (6:17.7), while Nicholas Bukofsky won the coxswain 500 (1:45.9).
Julia Gaughan of Arlington won the junior women’s 2,000-meter (7:51.6).
“It went great,” Haight said of the indoor sprints. “A lot of our athletes achieved personal records on their 2,000-meter races. Our winter training was a success.”
The Saratoga Invitational will be held April 28-29 at Fish Creek in Saratoga Springs.
Haight said he’s looking forward to the start of the season.
“We’re excited. It’s why we work so hard,” he said. “We’re going to put all of our talent and ability to work against some of the best crews in New England and Saratoga.”
A.J. Martelli: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports