February 4, 2002

Brown Men's Crew Readies For 2002 Season

Feb. 4, 2002

The Brown men's crew team possesses a combination of talented experience and a sound work ethic, which should produce solid performances throughout the season. The Bears open up on March 23 at Syracuse and hope to begin the season with a strong start. The Bears are eagerly awaiting the start of the season and look to improve on last year's 4th place finish at the Eastern Sprints.

Head Coach Paul Cooke is in his first season at the helm of Brown's team. Prior to taking the top job at brown, Cooke served as the school's freshman coach for seven years. Cooke recognizes the importance of each race this spring. "In my first year, I am not taking anything too lightly. Every race will prepare us for the ultimate goal of the Eastern Sprints and IRAs."

Leading the way for Brown will be senior Erik Winters (Lakeville, CT) a seasoned veteran in high level competition. Winters competed on the US National Team this summer, racing in the 4-seat of the eight. Winters helped the US team earn a 4th place finish. Erik has stroked the Brown Varsity Eight for most of the last two seasons. Other returning members of the varsity eight are senior Constantine Demetracopoulos (Bethesda, MD), and junior Charles Pollak (Beaufort, SC).

Coach Cooke will rely heavily upon his sophomore class this season, as this group has shown a solid work ethic, providing a very competitive environment for his entire team. Members of this class to watch include, Keith Howard (Portland, OR) and Alejandro Mendoza (Miami, FL).

Brown competed in four races this fall, posting strong showings in each race, first at the Connecticut Regatta (Oct. 7), placing 1st in the novice four, intermediate eight, novice eight and open eight events. At the Stonehurst Regatta (Oct.14), the men placed 2nd and 13th in the open eight.

The final two competitions came on October 20 and November 17. First, at the annual Head of the Charles race, the Bears placed 6th in the championship fours and 19th in the championship eights. At the Foot of the Charles (Nov. 17), Brown placed 3rd in freshman eights.

The Bears will look at every race as a challenge, and each with its own significance. The Harvard and Princeton races, in particular always producing some exciting events. Brown hopes to consistently improve throughout the spring months, and be at top form in May and June for the Eastern Sprints and IRAs.