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Rowing Launches New 'Crew' Of High School Athletes

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Last summer's U.S. Olympics drew the attention of a new generation to an old sport -- crew. A new dock will be dedicated at Lake Wheeler Saturday to help high school rowers practice a little easier.

The sport of crew or rowing used to evoke images of Ivy League schools, but not any more. Now it's a team sport at Raleigh Charter High School. Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, you will find 40 students on the water.

"It's a great workout. It's really fun," said student Maggie Thompson.

Four rowing clubs donated the materials for the new dock, built it and then donated it to the county. When it comes to rowing, the dock makes a difference.

"It's a lower dock, only a few inchues above the water and it allows the rowing boats to come all the way in and let the kids get out," said rowing coach Geoff Hannert.

After two seasons of competition, mostly out of state, Raleigh Charter has a couple of wins and a brand new boat, but they row for the comraderie.

"You're so connected to your team all the time. You can't do it alone," Thompson said.

The new dock dedication will be 10 a.m. Saturday at Lake Wheeler. N.C. State, a new rowing team at Broughton High School and the general public are expected to use the dock.