ON THE WATER: Women's Rowing Blog with Maeghan Pardy

April 15, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

April 15, 2011

Maeghan Pardy

Maeghan Pardy is a sophomore on the Old Dominion women's rowing team who will be checking in with ODUSports.com throughout the spring season giving insight into the Lady Monarchs' third season varsity season.

Last weekend, the Lady Monarchs were at the Knecht Cup in New Jersey where ODU placed two boats in the Grand Final. ODU's Varsity Eight placed third, while the Varsity Four took eighth.



I am currently writing to you from a super awesome smelling bus full of super awesomely clean girls... not. Although in our defense, we literally just escaped the mud pit that was the race ourse for the 2011 Knecht Cup, after what was a ridiculously awesome weekend of racing. Ok, I think that I've worn out my use of the word awesome for today, but I only speak the truth.

 After racing Miami, it's safe to say that we were all slightly shocked. I mean, we all knew that we worked our butts off this winter and that our team as a whole had some amazing improvements. However after saying all winter that our hard work would eventually pay off, we were finally seeing it...and it felt good.

ODU's Varsity 8 held a 10.7 margin of 
victory over Miami two weeks ago

Although, in my biased opinion, deserved, it's as though we've stolen speed that we now want to protect with everything we have. However everyone and their dog are after the exact same thing. We're finally in the fight and we're going for everything. Look into any of our girls' eyes and you'll see it - the hunger, the drive, the determination.

And none of that drive was missing this past weekend at the Knecht Cup. However it was accompanied by a feeling that only seems to spark around race day. It was that feeling of millions of butterflies swarming your stomach, making you nauseous and determined that racing will be impossible.

Anyways, before the final on Sunday, after a long day of heats and semis on Saturday, we strutted around the racecourse looking rather dapper in our spandex and rain boots. No joke. Short, short spandex. Tall, tall rain boots of various colors and patterns. We're a classy bunch. Mind you, it was better that than wearing sandals that would instantly get consumed by the mud. That's right, consumed because it was that deep.

So, nerves were running wild and butterflies were taking over, but Coach Milne stopped me on my way over to the racecourse and said something to me that I don't think I will ever forget - "Embrace the butterflies. Let their wings help you fly."

Now, not only is this phrase incredibly adorable and Hallmark-esque, but it also helped settle my stomach. Assured me that the nerves were good. Coach Garbutt unknowingly followed it up later by telling us to "bottle up all of our nerves, and unleash them on the racecourse."

And I think we did just that. Good day. Great racing.

I'm pretty sure that I'm speaking for the whole team when I say that we are extremely proud of the insane amount of progress that we've made in three short years. That being said, you may see our results and be proud of us as well, but please know that we are not yet satisfied. But I suppose this isn't really a sport where you can ever be satisfied - ask anyone on this team! You take an inch, you want another. You take another inch and you want a foot. You take a foot and you want it all. We want it all and will fight for however long it takes to get it because that's who we are.

Look out for us, it's going to be a good year.

The Old Dominion women's rowing team returns to action this weekend in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania taking on host Bucknell and Colgate on the Susquehanna River.