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Friday, December 02, 2022

UF Crew team requests to move practices to Lake Wauburg

<p>First-year coach Samantha Sarff, 24, decided the water was too low at Newnans Lake on Thursday morning for the Florida Crew team to practice rowing. She said the time team members spend on the water can make or break them in the race held in spring.</p>

First-year coach Samantha Sarff, 24, decided the water was too low at Newnans Lake on Thursday morning for the Florida Crew team to practice rowing. She said the time team members spend on the water can make or break them in the race held in spring.

While some UF students were up to their necks in schoolwork this weekend, Florida Crew members were up to their chests in mud.

The crew team spent six hours Saturday building an estimated 100-foot addition to the existing dock at Newnans Lake.

The team has not been able to effectively practice because the receding water level has left the lake thick with mud.

Team members are waiting on approval to move their practices to Lake Wauburg, a request they expressed in a written proposal to RecSports.

Krystina Sarff, coach of the women's novice team, said the new dock is a temporary fix.

All semester, the crew team has been battling with the mud in Newnans Lake.

It usually takes 20 minutes just to navigate through the muck to the water where the team can practice, said Samantha Sarff, female novice assistant coach. Other times, they must complete their cardiovascular exercises and strength training on land.

During the past summer, rowers noticed the receding water levels, said club president Haley Vinson, 22, an exercise physiology senior.

Each boat costs about $35,000, Vinson said, "so that fact that we're putting that in only a few inches of water is really damaging."

Krystina and Samantha Sarff wrote and sent a proposal to RecSports for a new practice lake.

Eric Ascher, RecSports coordinator of competitive sports, said the proposal must be revised and presented by students on the team as opposed to the coaches to be considered for approval. Ascher declined to comment on these specific revisions.

Shortly afterward, the student executive officers of the team took over the proposal process, Ascher said.

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"I want to try to help them accomplish what they want within the parameters that I have," Ascher said.

The crew team should receive an answer by the end of the semester, Ascher said.

Samantha Sarff said she is hoping for the best.

"I don't care how it gets done," she said. "I just want it done."

First-year coach Samantha Sarff, 24, decided the water was too low at Newnans Lake on Thursday morning for the Florida Crew team to practice rowing. She said the time team members spend on the water can make or break them in the race held in spring.

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