Clinton, P.E.I. -
Newfoundland has a crack at eight Canada Games rowing medals today and Friday on Southwest River outside Summerside, which makes all the work - even in the dark days of winter - well worth it.
"These athletes are dedicated," understated head coach John Smyth.
Other than a month off following the fall rowing season, the rowers are at it six days a week, sometimes twice a day, through the winter and early spring.
The training involves endless work on the ergometre rowing machine six days a week, coupled with another two days of weight training.
Hard getting motivated for rowing when there's a foot of snow on the ground.
Each month, the athletes are tested on the erg and must meet specified times based over six-kilometre, two-kilometre and 1,200 metre distances.
Newfoundland has won four Canada Games rowing medals - three bronze and a silver. Two of those came in the 2005 Regina, Sask. Games when Ashley Peach and Laura Rice won silver in women's pairs and the men's eights won bronze.
In addition to the athletes doing their part to prepare for P.E.I., the coaching staff has been doing its homework to get ready for the Canada Games.
In January, Smyth and Amanda Hancock attended a national coaches seminar where they studied under national men's eights coach Mike Spracklen, who guided Canada to a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.
"We picked his brain," said Hancock, "and the training program we have in place is borrowed from the national level in Canada."
Newfoundland and Labrador results Wednesday at the Canada Summer Games in P.E.I.:
Newfoundland and Labrador dropped a heart-breaker in women's soccer Wednesday, losing 1-0 to Alberta on a goal in the 89th minute.
"That's football," said Newfoundland coach Mike Power. "That's the way it goes. It seems unfair and unjust, but if you're going to win a medal, you have to knock off a big four (Alberta, B.C., Ontario and Quebec)."
Newfoundland, 1-1, plays Ontario in a quarter-final today.
Correction: In Newfoundland's 3-1 win over P.E.I. Tuesday, Heather Williams and Shauna Gilpen were among Newfoundland's goalscorers, not Jennifer Edwards and Erin Edwards as was reported by the Canada Games.
Newfoundland 103, Northwest Territories 48
Three Newfoundlanders - Ben Riche, John Dawson and Morgan McDonald - each scored 16 points for the winners.
Newfoundland takes on P.E.I. today to decide ninth and 10th places.
Newfoundland (1-2) had the day off Wednesday. The team plays P.E.I. (0-3) this morning in its final round-robin game.
Newfoundland and Labrador rowers in A finals today:
Lightweight men's four - Tyler Young, Paul Hussey, Josh Sutton and Chris Clark
Women's pair - Jane Brodie and Alyssa Devereaux
Men's pair - Mark Perry and Brent Payne (Note: team advanced directly from first day of competition and is ranked fourth
Women's eights - cox Karen Brodie, stroke Jane Brodie, Stephanie Davis, Allison Delong, Alyssa Devereaux, Hilary Sinclair, Holly Whelan, Amanda Ryan, bow Shannon Driscoll (Note: team finished sixth in repechage, but only two seconds separated fourth, fifth and sixth)
Newfoundland and Labrador rowers in A finals Friday: Women's doubles - Stephanie Davis and Amanda Ryan
Men's fours - Paul Hussey, Mark Perry, Josh Sutton, Brent Payne (Note: the team was trailing in last 250 metres in repechage, but came back to edge out Alberta for berth in the final
Women's fours - Jane Brodie, Alyssa Devereaux, Allison Delong, Stephanie Davis (Note: team is ranked fifth, but only a second separated Nos. 3, 4 and 5 in repechage) Men's eights - cox Robert Roach, Tyler Young, Paul Hussey, Mark Perry, Chris Clark, Zachary Meaney, Ben Colbourne, Josh Sutton and Brent Payne