- Seth Woolcock
- Lead Culture Writer
This is a satirical news article.
The streak of choking during crunch time of championship games continued this week here at IUP. The university’s No. 1-ranked rowing team took on rival Slippery Rock University in the National Championship contest Saturday at the Two Lick Reservoir here in Indiana.
IUP was 11-0 on the season going into the match. Slippery Rock came in at a less impressive record of 7-4 but managed to pull off upsets throughout the collegiate tournament.
More bitterness existed between the two teams coming into the championship match than usual. Devin Kurant, the all-time leading rower for IUP, transferred to rival Slippery Rock over the summer after losing to the Rock the previous year.
This left longtime teammate and friend Brussel Chestbrook in the dark. The two were a force for the Crimson Hawks for three years before Kurant’s departure. With the media stirring the pot, the friendship turned ugly and the rivalry grew.
“We knew this was more than just a championship game against our rival school,” IUP head coach Greg Daniels said. “We wanted to win this one for Brussel, to show him he made the right decision to stick around.”
For the first three legs of the race, it seemed as if Chestbrook’s decision had paid off, as IUP dominated. The Hawks had a 14-second lead going into the final half mile of regulation.
Just as the Rock saw its dreams of a championship fading away, they caught a break. With a little over four-tenths of a mile remaining in the race, IUP’s second-best rower, John Adams, suffered a strained forearm and was unable to continue to row.
Still, with the finish line in sight, it looked like smooth sailing for the Crimson Hawks. But the Rock continued to gain time and speed as the race closed.
At the finish, fans were stunned when IUP flipped its boat less than 100 yards from the finish line. Critics claim that Chestbrook was rowing too hard to compensate for the lost teammate and caused the raft to tip.
The Rock then cruised to its first rowing title in school history, and Kurant got the title he was chasing.
“It was great to come back to this place, against my former team, and do what they said I couldn’t do,” Kurant said. “Hats off, though, to Brussel and the rest of the Hawks. They gave it everything they had.”