This spring, Bowdoin Rowing was proud to receive the Seventy-Seven Award––awarded annually in honor of the Class of 1977 by a vote of the coaching staff to the team that, regardless of record, played unselfishly and with the utmost heart in victory or defeat and built character as the season progressed while upholding the competitive spirit and the traditions and ideals of the College and the Department of Athletics.
Head Coach Doug Welling said this on behalf of the team:
The Rowing team is incredibly honored to be the recipient of the Seventy-Seven Award. 2019 started with tragic news, the loss of teammate and friend Henry Zietlow ’22. Not a day has passed without Henry on our minds. Coping and healing has largely stemmed from simple human connection; being surrounded with community members and teammates that witnessed Henry’s incredible presence firsthand. While only with the team for the fall semester, Henry left a lasting impression on teammates and coaches that will positively impact our program going forward.
Henry lived life to the fullest in every regard. He greeted each sunrise on the New Meadows River with a huge smile. He possessed an incredible sense of humor. He trained and competed with fierce inner belief. Yet, Henry was humble, inclusive and known on campus for the beacon-like light that he emitted. On our team, Henry became synonymous with the term, “Free Speed” — the notion that we can create a performance enhancing environment. Small examples came in the form of favorite, retro-style headbands, uplifting humor, and a positive attitude that was contagious to all.
At the Service for Remembrance for Henry in February, President Clayton Rose noted:
We remember, most of all, that Henry was special not because he was smart or musical or loved the water (he was all of that). He was special because he had the gift of touching others. He made a difference in the lives of those who knew him—in Minneapolis, at camp, on campus, in class, wherever he went. He made life for others more fun, more interesting…better.
From a performance standpoint, the 2019 spring campaign has been incredibly successful. Bowdoin Rowing sent seven crews to the New England Rowing Championships and all seven crews finished with medals: four Gold, two Silver and one Bronze. One of those gold medals came in the Men’s First Varsity Four, rowing a newly-dedicated hull named the “Free Speed”.
Maybe Coach Welling sums it up best: ”Rowing certainly has a much greater purpose than simply trying to win medals and this season has heightened that. We are all just trying to channel our inner ‘Henry.’”