What do an FBI agent, a legal clerk, a transportation researcher, an accountant and a financial control officer have in common?
The five all arise before dawn to lead Washington's collegiate rowing programs in 6 a.m. workouts at Thompson's Water Sports Center.
"You get used to it," said John Devlin, the accountant who coaches Georgetown University's women rowers. "You get a little tired by 9 o'clock at night; your social life dwindles, gets put off to the weekends.It's a pretty raw experience, but it's all right when you're working with good people."
"Unfortunately, I'm the type if I didn't have that, I'd probably just blob out at night," said Donna Barton, head coach of George Washington University's women, who researches issues involving transportation for the elderly. "It would be harder for me to motivate myself without this."
Jay Forster, Georgetown's men's coach, left a position as assistant athletic director at GU to control the finances of the presidential inauguration committee, but he said the move allows him to devote more time to Hoya rowing. GU finished third among 46 schools at the Dad Vail Regatta last year, and Forster has set the regatta title as this season's goal.
To do this, the men's varisty heavyweight eight -- with three-year men Peter Radell and Don Donahue and second-year vet Tom McCreary back -- must improve his 11th-place finish at the Vail.
The women's varisty eight, which finished second at the Vail, is a veteran boat despite having no seniors. Juniors Jude Muskett, Janet Auchincloss, Michelle Faurot and coxswain Elizabeth Doyle are third-year varsity veterans. Meg Reed has one year of varisty experience, and the four remaining seats are filled by graduates of last year's novice eight, which won the Dad Vail championship.
The goals are more modest at George Washington, where Chuck Moll, a clerk at the U.S. Tax Court, became the third men's coach in three years.
Barton, in her third year, is looking for improvement in GW's performances over March 28, when her varsity and novice crews lost by 40 seconds to Trinity of Washington. Darin Weimer, Ann Pribulka, Diane Babson and Ann Ericsson are back from last spring's varisty eight.
Trinity is looking for its best season since Dick Alu, and FBI agent, began the program five years ago. Stroke Sheila Sullivan and Mara Devine in the bow are back for their fourth varsity seasons. Noreen Feddis puts in a third year and Mary Crocker a second on the varsity. Maureen Callahan, at 6 feet and 165 pounds, has been a powerful addition in the No. 6 seat.
At Navy, Rick Clothier, in his seventh year as men's coach, is tight-lipped about what promises to be one of the strongest eights on the tough Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges circuit.
"We row a tough schedule. We don't have an easy school," Clothier said. "But we're optimistic. We're anxious to get going. We have some high goals."