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CREW TO BECOME HAMILTON'S 27th AND 28th VARSITY SPORTS


Hamilton College Director of Athletics Tom Murphyannounced today that men's and women's crew will become varsity sportseffective with the start of the 1998-99 academic year. Crew will make up the27th and 28th varsity sports at Hamilton.

Crew has been a club sport since the 1980's at Hamilton. The men's and women'svarsity teams become the second and third sports to make the transition tovarsity in the last three years. They follow the Continental women's ice hockeyteam, which began varsity play in 1996-97.

"The students are really excited," Murphy said. "They have been working atbecoming varsity for a long time. To finally reach that goal is an outstandingachievement for these student-athletes and for Hamilton."

Hamilton crew is comprised of five different teams: coxswain, novice men,varsity men, novice women and varsity women. There are currently over 100student-athletes on the crew club rosters for both the fall and spring.

"There is a great contingency of young athletes on the crew team right now,"Murphy said. "As a college and an athletic department, we feel that the numberswill only grow as a varsity sport."

The crew teams begin practice as early as five a.m., and compete in both thefall and spring. It is one of the most demanding intercollegiate sports.Hamilton practices on the Erie Barge Canal off Muck Road in Rome. TheContinentals store their nine boats in a boathouse built in collaboration withthe City of Rome. However, in the winter, Hamilton practices in the basement ofa dorm.

"It is a lonely sport as far as training is concerned," club coach KevinCotter said. "All of the athletes train with a heart monitor to keep track oftheir progress. Training for crew is an uniquely individual process, but oncethey are on the boat, it is completely different. All eight athletes have to bein sync, or else everything is off."

Hamilton will continue to compete in local, regional and nationalcompetitions, such as the Stonehurst Capital Invitational Regatta, an annualevent which plays host to more than 35 clubs, colleges and universities thatcome from all over the United States and Canada. The Continentals will alsotake part in the New York State Championships May 2nd and 3rd in Rome.

Hamilton has not announced a coach for the varsity team, and will conduct anationwide search in the near future.

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