Cowbell, cowbell! Columbia University's three crew teams launched their racing shells on the sunny shores of Sarasota for the first time over this winter break for their annual southerly training trip.
It has been a long seven years working towards this -- being the last one cut from the eight in 2008, again in 2009, working through injuries in 2010 and 2011, and then the ups and downs of selection this year.
The thousand-plus fans lining the shore of Lake Natoma expected no contest. All season long, the Oakland Strokes Women's Varsity 8+ had been the fastest high school boat in the nation. But then something unexpected happened.