Senior Becomes First All-American Crew Rower

Larry Schweitzer

Junior Maureen Lynch ’06 accomplished something this summer that no other athlete in her sport has ever accomplished before. Lynch became the first member of Colgate’s women’s crew team to be named to the All-American team in June of this year. She was named to to the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) All-American second team as well as the CRCA All Mid-Atlantic region first team.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all. I didn’t know that my coach had recommended me for it and we heard about it after the season had ended in an email. I was really surprised and happy about it,” Lynch said about her achievement.

There was little to be surprised about, since Lynch has anchored the Varsity 8 since her freshman first year at Colgate and led the team to ninth and eleventh place finishes in the Head of the Charles in Boston and second place in the Patriot League Championship in the last two years. In her sophomore year, Lynch placed sixth overall in the CRASH-B Sprints World Indoor Rowing Championships, an ergometer race that is one of the biggest indoor races in the world.

In order to be named to the All-American team, a member of the crew team has to receive a coach’s recommendation and have very high ergometer scores, which is a measure of strength and power.

“Mo is one of the strongest women in the country. She is one of the anchors of our top boat and without her we would not be nearly as competitive as we are right now. I just stick her in the middle of the boat and she just pulls the heck out of it,” head women’s crew coach Greg Kruczynski gushedsaid.

“Maureen is a great student, and on the team she leads by example. She is not vocal, but all of the other athletes look up to her because her talent is just so great and she provides a leadership role with her work ethic,” Kruczynski also said.

“Mo is incredible! She is very smart, so funny, and her work ethic is contagious! She is one of the best athletes I have ever met, but more than that, she is a great friend and someone who I will always look up to. Her ability to balance and excel in so many areas- – both academic and athletic- – is inspiring, and I know we’ll be hearing her name in the future. And, of course, her dance moves are to die for!” senior Jessie Slenker ’06 remarked about her teammate and friend.

Lynch started rowing during her freshman yearHaving rowed since her first year of high school, so when she came to Colgate she Lynch was ready for the intense level of preparation and competition that is involved in Patriot League.

“The difference was more time on the erg, more weightlifting and just more time in general,” Lynch said.

“Being on the team is such a great experience. The coach changes in the past few years have been hard, but there is such a supportive group and I have never felt alone. You know that there are seven other people who feel the same as you and that makes you want to try harder for the team.”

Outside of crew, Maureen, who is a marine and freshwater science major, went abroad last fall, gives tours for the Office of Admissions and participates in Sidekicks, where she acts as a mentor for an eleven-year-old girl in Hamilton that she sees about every two weeks. On her trip abroad, Lynch spent six weeks at Woods Hole in Massachusetts taking oceanography classes and then six weeks on the open ocean in a 135 foot boat with 34 other students.

After this year, Lynch’s last one as a student at Colgate, she plans on looking into going to a graduate school and finding a job, but continuing her career in crew is not out of the question. “I would like to go to grad school within two years. My goal for a job is get into marine science research and get a research position. If I end up in areas where they have masters programs, I would join one, but my priorities lie in finding a job and going to school. I would love to keep rowing, though, and my coach has pushed me to join a club.”

Kruczynski stressed that Lynch could compete at higher levels and that “she has always been there at the top and has gotten interest from coaches beyond the college level for national teams.”

Looking back on last year, for which Lynch was recognized by the CRCA, the highlights were placing thirteenth in the Knecht Cup in Camden, New Jersey, and third in their event. “We placed, and had a really good showing against California and Boston schools which are really tough. No one knew who Colgate was 4 years ago and now other teams recognize us,” Lynch said. She also felt that the victory over Ithaca, who has been a thorn in Colgate’s side for years, was crucial, even though Ithaca exacted revenge in the New York State Championships later in the year.

All of Maureen’s goals for this season are strictly team oriented, which exemplifies her devotion to winning and the team. “I really want to place well in the fall and then win Patriots [League Championhip] and I would like to beat Navy, who is a really good team. I would love to place better in ECAC, since we placed third last year and I want to win it or come in second. I also really want to beat Ithaca. We beat them once last year and then they came back and beat us later. We want to prove that we are better than them. They’re pretty much the goals for all of the girls on the team.”

Kruczynski is also ready for the upcoming season and has high expectations for both the team and Lynch. “The program looks good. We are well suited for a top five finish at the [Head of the] Charles, if not a win. This year is a big year, maybe the best rowing