Credit: Tempe Junior Crew
READY TO ROW -- From left to right, Erin Crawford, Coach Dan
Duxbury, and Katie Erhart pose before one of Tempe Junior Crew's
events. Crawford and Erhart rowed outstanding races in the C.R.A.S.H.-B
Sprints World Indoor Rowing Championships at Boston University
earlier this season.
In the world of competitive rowing, Arizona may well be out of
the mainstream, but members of the Tempe Junior Crew are making
their mark in this Ivy-League sport.
Team members Erin Crawford and Katie Erhart rowed outstanding
races in the C.R.A.S.H.-B Sprints World Indoor Rowing Championships
at Boston University. Erhart placed 22nd out of 82 in the
Junior Women's Lightweight event with a time of 7:57.00, and
Crawford placed 38th out of 196 in the Junior Women's Heavyweight
event with a personal best of 7:39.80.
The scores represented an outstanding accomplishment from a
rowing club that is flourishing in the unlikely setting of the dry
Crawford is a junior at Tempe Prep Academy who has been rowing
competitively with Tempe Junior Crew since 2004. "I originally
joined crew as something to do during the spring because I didn't
want to do track or play baseball," she said. "I absolutely
love it now, and I can't imagine doing anything else."
Katie Erhart, a senior at Xavier, competed in the lightweight
category, which required very careful monitoring of her pre-race
weight. "At Crash-B's I had the most frustrating and
exhausting pre-race experience of my life trying to make weight in
time to compete, while still trying to allow some time to hydrate
and eat some sorely needed food," she commented. "Still, it
was an exciting event to attend."
"I'm really proud of how the girls rowed in Boston at the
C.R.A.S.H.-Bs [in late February]," said Head Coach Dan Duxbury.
"It's never easy to go up against the best in the world of rowing -
especially when you're from some small club in Tempe. However,
Katie and Erin just walked in like they owned the place and left a
big, old Tempe Junior Crew stamp on the event!"
Although it is a relatively new organization, Tempe Junior Crew,
a non-profit, competitive rowing club for young women and men in
Arizona, is attracting considerable attention in this traditionally
Ivy-League sport. Since its inception in 2000, Tempe Junior
Crew has competed successfully at the local, regional, national and
Members of the team range in age from 13 to 18 and attend schools
throughout the Valley. Dedicated athletes all, they practice
five days a week after school for 2.5 hours.
The sport instills a sense of teamwork, commitment, and
accountability in its members. As they train and compete, athletes
from diverse backgrounds come together with one purpose and one
goal: to be the best junior rowing team in the nation.
Tempe Junior Crew also represents an avenue to college.
Several of its athletes have gone on to row at prestigious colleges
and universities including Harvard, Vanderbilt, University of Miami,
U.S. Naval Academy, University of San Diego, U.C. Berkeley,
University of Pennsylvania, University of North Carolina, and Loyola
Many received partial or full scholarships for rowing. At
the C.R.A.S.H.-B competition in late February, both Crawford and
Erhart attracted the attention of several college coaches, including
Jack St Claire, head coach at Villanova, who had an impromptu
recruiting chat with Erhart in the stands.
The C.R.A.S.H.-B event grew out of the U.S. boycott of the 1980
Olympics. Olympic rowers, wanting to break up the monotony of
winter training and maintain their edge through the boycott, began
competing with one another on rowing ergometers that had been
introduced at about the same time as the boycott.
Within a few short years, CRASH-B grew into the international
world indoor rowing championships it is now.
For further information about Tempe Junior Crew, contact Kristin
Iannini, (602) 488-5882 or visit
www.tempejuniorcrew.org. Potential crew participants
should contact Membership Director Anne Huges at (602) 494-0066 or
Head Coach Dan Duxbury at (602) 750-5287.