November Updates from Coach Walker

Greetings Purdue Crew Friends and Alumni!

Happy Daylight Savings time! The additional hour of sleep was much welcomed by our student-athletes training and studying hard here in West Lafayette. Unfortunately, the time change also means the end of water practices until next spring, as with Purdue’s record enrollment this fall classes are pushing into the late afternoon and evening hours more than ever before, making it difficult to get boats together with enough daylight at this time of year to be useful.

But fret not! The Purdue Crew team is excited for this training transition and ready to throw themselves into the trials of winter training, where the grit of each rower and coxswain shines through to brighten the waning daylight, and where the medals of spring rowing are truly won. Below is a picture of the reorganized downstairs training room in the boathouse where much of this winter’s hard-fought training gains will be earned.

Purdue Crew Main Floor Training Room – Photos courtesy of either Ed Hida, or Libby Stitzel

On Saturday, November 6th Purdue Crew hosted the Bald Eagle Regatta at Eagle Creek Park on a gorgeous, crisp autumn day in Indianapolis, Indiana. The team traveled to Indy with over 150 student-athletes and competed against 14 teams, which included (among others) the University of Michigan, University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin, Grand Valley, University of Minnesota, etc… The team performed exceptionally well across the board with wins in the Women’s Novice 8+ B, Women’s Novice 4+, Women’s Varsity 8+ C, and Men’s Varsity 8+ C events, and with notable close second place finishes in the Varsity Women’s 8+ A just behind Grand Valley, and the Varsity Men’s 8+ A just behind Virginia but ahead of men’s team rival the University of Michigan. The exceptional performances across the board helped the team bring home the Team Points Trophy!

Novice Men arriving back at the recovery dock at the Bald Eagle Invite

A tremendous thank you to all parents, alumni, race officials, and friends who volunteered their time to help Purdue host and run the regatta. A particularly BIG THANK YOU to past Purdue Crew Parents Club President Tara Trevino, her husband Todd Trevino, and their son and Purdue Crew alumni and Purdue graduate Nick Trevino for volunteering their time and organizational prowess this year to ensure the Purdue Crew Parents Club was ready after a two-year Covid racing hiatus to feed and cheer on the team at our three fall regattas! However, while we will be forever indebted to the Trevinos for stepping up and helping the team in a time of need, we are looking find a new Purdue Crew Parents Club Team President and Team Treasurer from our current set of rowing parents. Tara insists the tasks are largely automated and don’t take much organizational time, and has graciously offered to mentor any interested parents in their roles and responsibilities. Please email me to help with the Purdue Crew Parents Club this spring at walkerne@purdue.edu

Purdue Crew Parents Club Setup at the Bald Eagle Invite

In other news, we’re currently organizing a number of exciting new initiatives to continue the growth and evolution of Purdue Crew and the Purdue Rowing Association as we gear up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the addition of Women’s Crew to Purdue (Spring ’23) and the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Purdue Crew (Spring ’24). We’re forming committees to help organize these new initiatives (listed below) and if you’re interested in being a part of any of them, please contact me at walkerne@purdue.edu

  • Purdue Crew For Life Boathouse Exhibit – create an interactive touchscreen display to mount next to the Bill Butler Dream Wall with pictures, videos, stories, and interviews from past team members/coaches/parents for rowers, alumni, and visitors to explore
  • Communications – create a standardized communication format, information to distribute, and curated email list to keep alumni and friends of the program informed and engaged
  • Alumni Events – plan regular alumni gatherings
  • Website – develop a modern website that is easily editable and clearly outlined with all relevant and historical information available to search and access
  • Endowment Growth – create endowment growth plan to shift the Purdue Crew team’s reliance away from yearly giving to more endowed support, ensuring the fiscal stability and growth of the team in perpetuity
  • Alumni Student-Athlete Mentoring – create connections and partnerships between the Purdue Crew team and its student-athletes with alumni and partner companies to create student-athlete professional mentorship, student-athlete leadership mentorship for Purdue Crew Executive Board Members, and Internship/Coop/Job placement mentorship and assistance

Varsity Women’s V8+ Racing at the Bald Eagle Invite

To help more widely distribute our email updates in a more timely manner, we’re putting together a BRAND NEW PURDUE CREW EMAIL LIST which will be strictly used to give updates on team events and stories. To ensure you don’t miss out on these updates, please enter your information into our new email list here!

Varsity Men’s V8+ Racing at the Bald Eagle Invite

I’ll end this team update the same way we’ve ended each practice this fall, when rowers and coxswains come back together after a day spent toiling away in separate seats and separate boats, to raise their hands in exhausted unison, with one beginning the countdown of

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that sounds through each gasping breath and beating heart

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to reconnect and reaffirm the binding connections this sport creates

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as the rising call of sister and brotherhood builds in each throat to shout together in unison

BOILERS!

Nathan Walker | Head Rowing Coach | Purdue University

walkerne@purdue.edu