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Dallas, Texas Dallas United Crew raced and won big at S.W.E.A.T (Southwest Amateur Ergometer Tournament), hosted by Jesuit College Preparatory School. In these races, the ergometer, a rowing machine, measures each performance to project the entrant’s standing as a boat moving across a combined, virtual course. Past performance lands the fastest of each heat on the front row, blinding them to their positions while signaling that they are the ones to beat. Teammates act as coxswains – sometimes pilot, sometimes drill sergeant, and sometimes cheerleader – to get their oarsman first to the finish. As the lead boats cross the 1500-meter mark of the 2000-meter race, a tsunami of cheers washes over the competitors as the crowd demands a winning sprint.

The high school events presented the most crowded fields with over forty athletes competing in each of the men’s and women’s open-weight races. DUC’s varsity men claimed gold in the fastest events with Danield Sneed winning the Men’s Open-weight Single and DUC’s varsity men dominating with eleven of the top fifteen places. The Lightweight Men’s Single also saw gold for DUC as Jack Craycroft led the field. In the women’s open-weight race, Sierra Ross, and teammate Kate Russ earned 2 of the top 5 finishes, and Ella Spillman took silver among the Freshman Lightweight Women. DUC’s future looks bright as Spillman’s open-weight teammates and the girls of DUC’s middle school program swept the medals in both of their categories. Not to be outdone by their oarsmen, the DUC coxswains took to the ergometers, earning three medals, including gold for Mimi Tafel.

With 85 entries, DUC had more competitors than any other juniors program and earned fourteen individual medals. In a sport whose hallmark is unity, the competition is a rare opportunity to shine individually. Collegiate coaches scan the published results searching for fast recruits.

Program-wide, DUC won seventeen medals as DUC’s Veterans/Adapative rowers John Fay and Sam Seidemann took gold and silver, respectively, in their event. Former DUC Board Member, Chuck Mueller, who founded DUC’s Veterans/Adaptive program took silver in the Men’s Masters Single for ages 70-79.

S.W.E.A.T is DUC Junior’s first competition of spring’s championship season; warmer weather will see North Texas’s largest rowing club race in 2000-meter sprints at regattas in Oklahoma City, Austin, and Seattle in preparation for the nationally qualifying races at US Rowing’s Central Regionals in May. 

S.W.E.A.T draws rowers from ten juniors clubs in US Rowing’s Central Region. Teens who would like to row are invited to register for DUC’s middle school program starting March 1st or one of several rowing camps this summer. Visit www.DallasUnitedCrew.org for details on each program.

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