March 21, 2007

Cooke's Crew is Ready for 2007 Season

March 21, 2007

Providence, RI - The excitement in the boathouse is building, as the Brown Men's Crew will be kicking off its season on Saturday, April 7th at Boston University. With a good group of varsity oarsmen back from last, head coach Paul Cooke is feeling confident that his squad will be successful.

After an excellent fall season, where the championship eights capped off the season finishing in fifth place at the Head of the Charles Regatta, Cooke and his crew are excited about the upcoming 2007 season.

"My biggest concern was to get the older guys to improve on where they were last year," said Cooke. "And that seems to be happening."

Seven of the nine men who won bronze medals in varsity eights at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships last June, have returned, while only the four man Steve Van Knotsenburg and coxswain Patrick Yu were lost to graduation. In addition, every member of the second varsity, which made the grand finals at the IRA's have come back and also a strong group of sophomores have been pushing for seats in the top two boats.

Depth is a major asset for the Brown crew this season. For the first time since 2001, Cooke has three varsity boats rowing, and competition between the varsity and second varsity has been fierce. Coming back from lat year on the port side are seniors Joe Donahue (Shrewsbury, MA), Ben Harrison (Dedham, MA) and junior Chris Greene (Cincinnati, OH), while on starboard there is junior Colin Keogh (Greenwich, CT), senior Dave Coughlin (Havertown, PA), junior Ryan McShane (Eugene, OR) and junior Paul Strombom (Seattle, WA) are back. In the coxswain seat, it is likely that sophomore Rob O'Leary (Fayetteville, NY) will take the reins.

Junior Garrett Kirk (Boston, MA), sophomore Gareth Seymour, and sophomore Matt Wheeler (Eugene, OR) have been standouts in winter training and several other athletes have proven to be contenders for seats in the varsity eight.

The Bears will get an early indication of where they stand when they scrimmage Yale on the Seekonk on Saturday, March 31. They will begin the season on Saturday, April 7th at Boston University, and will then travel to Harvard on Saturday, April 14.