Bucknell Women's Rowing Journal - Victoria Dudley
April 16, 2009
"Lane one: Cornell. Lane two: Princeton. Lane three: Radcliffe. Lane four: Bucknell. All hands are down. Attention. GO!"
Never in my life did I think that I would race head-to-head against three Ivy League schools at one time. While sitting at the starting line, blades buried, locked into the stake boat, rain falling all around, wind blowing against the bow, a calm exhilarating feeling engulfed my entire body. I took a deep breath as I heard a voice behind me, "Let's do this, Tori!" I was ready, and so was the rest of my boat. Each stroke that we took marked an accomplishment, a development, a bond. We pressed down the racecourse with only the next stroke on our minds. Our coxswain instilled a hunger in our minds to press with poise and power, and never look back: no regrets. We were racing with the big leagues, with women whose teams are legendary, are historic. And with is the key word. We weren't just racing alongside them, we were racing with them. We didn't let this excitement get to us. We have practiced rowing within our gunnels, within our boat. Our focus and determination could be felt throughout each and every individual. There may have been only nine women racing down the course at that time, but there were 46 more rowers, four more coaches, and 25 years worth of alumni and family support within the gunnels. Through the middle thousand our coxswain reminded us of these individuals as we continued to row with power and poise. I don't think that I have ever felt such a powerful unified spirit flowing through the boat than I did at that time.
This past weekend marked a key moment of development in our program's history. Each woman came off the water at Lake Carnegie with a sense of pride for our team, our family, our army, our herd. We each knew that regardless of the outcome, our experience racing beside some of the most distinguished crews was something to which we could hold our head high. Even with such a strong showing we all knew that we still have a lot of work to do. Each morning and afternoon we work hard with and for one another to prepare us for what is coming next: "today, tonight and tomorrow morning". Each stroke that we take on the water, and each rep completed during lift amount to our performance, our endurance and our speed. These actions prepare us for what is coming along next and I am so excited to find out where all of our efforts bring us as the season moves forward.
Eat `em Up...BISON!!
- Victoria Dudley '11