The University of Tennessee Rowing Club has just completed the fall season with hard work, determination and even a couple of wins.

Overall, there are about 40 students involved in the rowing club composed of four teams of varsity and novice for both men and women.

Neil Owens, novice men's coach, explained that the teams row in different sizes of boats, or shells.

The teams competed in three competitions last season with one competition located in Knoxville.

The first competition held in Augusta, Ga. saw the novice men's team place first in the four man shell and second in the freshman four man shell at this Head of the South competition. Also, the varsity men placed second in the eight man shell and the novice women came in third in the four man shell.

In mid-October, several teams came to Knoxville to compete in the Head of the Tennessee. The novice men's team placed first and tenth in the four man shell and second and sixth in the eight man shell. The varsity men placed fourth in the four man shell and the novice women placed tenth in the four man shell.

The final and largest competition was located in Gainsville, Ga. at The Head of the Hooch, the third largest Regatta in the United States. The novice men placed ninth in the four man shell and eighth in the eight man shell. The varsity men placed seventh in the four man shell and eleventh in the eight man shell. The novice women placed eighth in the four man shell.

Rock Helms, treasurer of the Rowing Club, explained that these competitions were endurance races which last between 16 to 20 minutes for 5000 meters or 2.23 miles.

"You have to pace yourself," Helms said.

As opposed to fall, the races of the spring are sprints.

Boats are divided into lanes and each boat starts at the same time. Each sprint race is 2000 meters and they last six to eight minutes for the men's division, Helms said.

"It's like a track race with the straight lanes," Helms said.

Overall, Helms said that rowing is a great sport.

"I had no idea what it was. I joined to stay in shape, but I've really come to love the sport of rowing, and everybody should try it." Helms said.

An interest meeting will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. in the University Center Shiloh Room. For more information, e-mail Helms at mhelms2@utk.edu or Owens at nowens1@utk.edu

"It's a great sport to get involved in," Owens said, "We have a lot of fun."

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