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Peter Mallory's Blog

By pmallory - Posted on 03 April 2013

3 February 2013

Yesterday the Loyola Marymount University Men’s Crew had its first competitive outing under my leadership. It was the Beach Sprints, a Concept2 satellite ergometer race in Long Beach, California. My message to my crew:

Team –

Oh, my goodness! That was SO much fun! To see each of you bravely tackle your 2k today, many of you for the first time ever, to see you do it in public with such style and competence, to receive the compliments of so many spectators, it was all so much fun for me. Thank you SO much!

Our five winning efforts were all very creditable, but for sheer entertainment value Trent Hosokawa totally takes the cake! For those of you who missed it, Trent was seated between two other coxswain opponents, both of whom were considerably beefier than he is. He started off in a very professional manner, consistent, good technique, very LMU, but I knew that his 500m splits were faster than he had ever gone in practice by something like 10 seconds. He fairly quickly built a 20m lead on his closest competitor . . . but then the lead stabilized. Absentmindedly, I said to whoever was standing next to me, “Watch, this is going to be a very good race toward the end!”

Trent maintains his lead to the 1,000, and then his head starts to wobble. The LMU contingent raises their verbal encouragement. The lead goes from 20m to 19m to 18m. More cheering. Trent rallies and then falters again. 14m, 13m, 12m. “Come on, Trent! You own the second thousand!” I say, channeling my predecessor, Luke Cunningham, who was surely there in spirit.

V is screaming. The room collapses into a black hole, and his whole crew clusters around "Iron Man" Hosokawa, pouring energy into his 115lb. frame. The din is deafening. Trent rallies again . . . and then the other coxswain counterattacks. 10m, 9m, 8m . . .

After an eternity, Trent passes 400m to go. All three competitors are now inhabiting their own personal worlds of pain on the freeway to Hurt City . . . but the margin has stabilized at 8m.

Look!! At 200m to go the lead is back to 9m . . . and that was all she wrote. Trent may still have had to endure the longest half-minute of his life, but the race was already won. The final margin was 11m, and then all three valiant competitors get carried limp from their machines. Oh, band of brothers . . .

The look on every face in the crowd showed that we all knew we had just seen something very special, three people who truly gave their all, perhaps for the very first time in their lives.

I rushed to congratulate the vanquished second-place hero’s coach while she was being supported by her parents in a state of complete collapse. Her eyes didn’t focus. Her hand was limp and wet with sweat as I shook it. When I got back to Trent, he had that look about him that seemed to say, “Who? Me? Was that me who actually did that?”

Yes, Trent, that was you. Well done, sir.

And well done to the rest of you!