Park breaks rowing record ahead of OSU’s spring season

Evan Park holds up a pair of paddles at the OSU Boathouse dock on March 12, 2024.
Evan Park holds up a pair of paddles at the OSU Boathouse dock on March 12, 2024.
Taylor Cockrell

Three wins against Washington State and the University of Miami in Oregon State Women’s Rowing opening match on March 23 marks a strong start to their spring season after their C.R.A.S.H Beavs event last month.

The wins in the 1V8, 2V8 and 2V4 events were a strong reflection of their incredible season last year and exactly what the Beavers were looking for after they saw record-breaking rows last month.

OSU Women’s Rowing hosted their annual C.R.A.S.H. Beavs ergometer (ERG) rowing event on Feb. 25. Senior Evan Park set a program record previously held by Team USA rower and former Beaver, Alina Hagstrom.

The previous record at 2,000 meters was 6:41 minutes. Park’s new record is 6:37 minutes.

This event concludes the hard work put in during the winter training season and is used to kick off the spring season.

“It is really exciting to see all of the winter season progress and the ERG is a great conclusion to that,” Park said, “but now we are getting to work.”

The ERG machine simulates the mechanics of rowing used for training outside of the water. This training method is used primarily during the winter months when water levels are too high.

“We use the ERG as a really big training tool. From the end of the season last year we kind of know what our 2K goals are going to be for this year,” Park said. “I’ve known my goal was to be in the six-thirties for quite some time, and it’s been a tough process, but I worked really hard and I feel proud of the accomplishment I did.”

While the ERG is an effective training tool, there are major rotational differences compared to rowing in a sculling boat.

“When you ERG, you’re pulling forward and getting the same amount of resistance no matter what,” Park said. “In the water, you have to put the oar in the water at the right time, the right way, and keep your body in the right position to keep that resistance.”

The C.R.A.S.H. event is an individual time trial–the only person Park has to keep in mind is herself. However, this new record set a precedent for how Park and her team can expect the season to play out.

“We have a much different team this year, so there are challenges with that, but also opportunities and I’m excited to see what we can do with this lineup of people,” Park said. “I can set the school record for the ERG, but I can’t row the boat by myself.”

Park finds herself in the sixth seat on the boat, the engine room, a position that requires a lot of strength.

Park was nominated by the collegiate rowing coaches association as preseason player to watch but Park shifted the attention to her teammates.

“There are a lot of eyes on Oregon State … I think that’s good to motivate us to go for speeds we were expecting to have,” Park said.

OSU is among five PAC-12 teams ranked in the top 20 for women’s rowing ahead of the season; Stanford at No.1, University of Washington at No.2, University of California, Berkley at No.8, University of Southern California at No.15 and Oregon State at No.20.

“It’s good to be in the conversation. To have that expectation on ourselves that we are in the conversation, that we want to be there,” Park said. “It’s good fuel to our fire.”

OSU Women’s Rowing has started on a busy month with four meets in April. Their next meet is April 13 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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