By Katrina Craycroft
Carving pumpkins and costume parties are the preludes to Halloween for most folks, but for rowers with Dallas United Crew (DUC), it’s the Head of the Colorado in Austin, Texas, where DUC medaled in six events. Dubbed “Pumpkinhead,” the 5,000-meter race is in its 35th year; competitors are timed, and passing is allowed. The simplicity of the course’s start and middle belies the complexity of the finish, where a 360 degree turn around Snake Island, starting with a hard right through the narrowest part of the course, is reminiscent of rodeo’s barrel racing. Having passed boats on the straightaway, DUC’s Varsity Boy’s 8+ met traffic on the Snake Island loop. Over-taking another boat, coxswain, Ava Craycroft positioned her crew for the inside curve, but was pushed out of bounds by an unyielding Texas Rowing Center crew. Ever resilient, DUC’s men exited the fray, sailed around Snake Island and sprinted to a penalty-free, silver medal finish.
The future looks bright for DUC. Varsity Girls Coach Amanda Perry entered line-ups comprised of juniors and underclassmen to take Bronze in the Women’s 4+’s and 8+s. In the novice categories, the Novice Boy’s 8+ brought home Gold, and the Novice Girls won Silver in the 4+s and Bronze in the 8+s.
DUC alumnus Will Schweizer with Texas Crew delighted fans, winning gold twice — once in the Men’s Collegiate 4x’s (quads) and again in the Men’s Collegiate 1x (single), wearing a chicken suit in the latter for a bit of Halloween fun.
Visit dallasunitedcrew.org for information.