Wesley Ng & Trinity Women's Rowing
Last year the Trinity Women earned its first ever NCAA team title, ending the nine-year winning streak of DIII rival Williams College.
In his ninth season, head coach Wesley Ng has brought Trinity to the NCAA championships each year.
“Many little things had to go right to get last year’s NCAA Championship,” stated Ng, “Race experience being one of them.”
In summer 2013, the Trinity women went to the Henley Women’s Regatta. Their varsity eight beat Vesta Rowing Club of London by half a length in the heats, and were knocked out in the semifinal in a close race to Oxford.
“The girls’ eyes were opened to how good they can be, “said Ng.
This year Trinity is concentrating on not replaying last year, but writing a new story. The team is much smaller, having graduated 16 rowers, and all but two from last year’s first varsity eight. Trinity is down a full eight from last season.
On the flipside, last years underclassmen returned this fall fitter, with many having participated in competitive summer rowing programs. Though the rowers are not last year’s NCAA champions, they understand what it takes. At the Head of the Charles, Trinity placed second to Bates by 1.38 seconds in the women’s collegiate eight event.
At Trinity, rowers do more than rowing and academics. 70% of students study abroad, and many of the rowers study abroad in the summer or fall of their junior year. This past fall seven of eight juniors where abroad. To Ng this is not a disadvantage because the women stay fit while abroad and return to campus ready to work.
At Trinity everyone prepares at the varsity level, and athletes who are less developed are expected to act and train at the top level.
Technology plays a significant role in the training process at Trinity. Ng measures as much as he can to help the athletes figure out what works and what doesn’t. The coaches use GoPro cameras, external video, and the SmartOar system, which displays power curves through the water. Ng teaches the rowers to evaluate the data for themselves. The coaches send video to the rowers via I-Messaging. The rowers see their power curves on and off the water, as well as the curve being described to them while rowing. Each rower has an image in her mind of a good stroke.
The Trinity women are fortunate to be surrounded by excellent coaches. Wesley Ng has coached the women’s U-23 and senior teams, and this summer he is coaching the U-23 USRowing Selection Camp for women. Assistant coach Renee Jones brings over 16 years of coaching experience. Volunteer assistant Mitz Carr is a former assistant coach from Wisconsin. Volunteer assistant David Vogel is a rowing icon, having rowed at Yale and three times for the US national team. Vogel also coached two national teams and coached Yale for three decades.
“That Carr and Vogel volunteer as much time as they do plays testament the pleasure of working with Trinity rowers,” Said Ng.
In the latest polls, Trinity is currently ranked #1. Trinity currently has seven races left in their season, but Ng does not consider them a “finished product” yet.