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Crew Racer Sets World Record

Junior Lightweight Breaks Mark Twice

By Emily B. Wong

Not only did Angus R. MacLaurin '00 set a world record in the two kilometer junior lightweight race at Sunday's world Indoor Rowing Championships, but he went on to beat his own record later that day.

MacLaurin set the record in a morning heat with a time of 6:19.30, and broke that one in the afternoon with a time of 6:17.90.

The race was held at the Reggie Lewis Track and Field Center at Roxbury Community College in Boston.

MacLaurin downplayed the accomplishment, saying that the individual honor could not compare to the 1995 national title his team won when he attended St. Paul's School.

"It's up there, definitely a nice experience, but nationals boat was definitely the most incredible experience," said MacLaurin. "This was closer to masochism."

MacLaurin, a member of the Harvard Freshmen Heavyweight crew team, had only registered to compete in the junior-lightweight championships, but after his record-setting performance, the score keeper allowed him to compete in the men's open category.

MacLaurin finished sixth in the open race, but his time was good enough to break his morning record time in the junior lightweight division.

The top three finishers were world-tested rowers, including runner-up Eskilid Ebbesen, a gold medalist in the Atlanta Olympics.

MacLaurin is used to competing with rowers heavier than himself. Since his weight falls between two categories, he rows with the Freshman Heavyweights at Harvard, but he lost three pounds in order to fit within Sunday's 165 pound lightweight limit.

Because the individual championships are not part of Harvard's scheduled season, MacLaurin "went on his own initiative," according to varsity crew coach Harry L. Parker.

Normally, to prepare for a sprint race, MacLaurin would have cut back on endurance training, but MacLaurin said there was no special treatment for this race.

"Two days ago the coach told me [the championships are] a luxury, so you're going to do all the workouts with the rest of the team," said MacLaurin.

During the race, rowers watch their progress on monitors that are located between pairs of ergometers.

Rowers track their own and their competitors' progress by watching 10 boat icons travel across the monitor.

Both MacLaurin and his coaches said that because of the machines, the event tests fitness more than rowing skills.

"The idea of the whole race is training," MacLaurin said. "It's nice to do well, maybe it's a little ego boost, but it has very little to do with the actual rowing of a boat and making the team go faster."

MacLaurin said that before this kind of race "your stomach is all knotted up and you feel like you have no energy."

And afterwards?

"I don't think anyone passed out," MacLaurin said. "But several guys fell off after they finished....It's not the most pleasant of places to be.

Because the individual championships are not part of Harvard's scheduled season, MacLaurin "went on his own initiative," according to varsity crew coach Harry L. Parker.

Normally, to prepare for a sprint race, MacLaurin would have cut back on endurance training, but MacLaurin said there was no special treatment for this race.

"Two days ago the coach told me [the championships are] a luxury, so you're going to do all the workouts with the rest of the team," said MacLaurin.

During the race, rowers watch their progress on monitors that are located between pairs of ergometers.

Rowers track their own and their competitors' progress by watching 10 boat icons travel across the monitor.

Both MacLaurin and his coaches said that because of the machines, the event tests fitness more than rowing skills.

"The idea of the whole race is training," MacLaurin said. "It's nice to do well, maybe it's a little ego boost, but it has very little to do with the actual rowing of a boat and making the team go faster."

MacLaurin said that before this kind of race "your stomach is all knotted up and you feel like you have no energy."

And afterwards?

"I don't think anyone passed out," MacLaurin said. "But several guys fell off after they finished....It's not the most pleasant of places to be.

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