Australian Rower Takes Top Spot
NEW HAVEN, CT - By a vote of his teammates, Angus Morrison '19 has the honor to be the next captain for the Yale Heavyweights. After winning back to back national championships and four straight Eastern Sprints titles, while going unbeaten against Harvard for 4 years, Morrison now leads the country's most prolific program.
Morrison, who was in the No. 7 seat of the second varsity that beat Harvard last week, began rowing in 2011 at Brisbane Grammar School. He credits his father for motivating him to join the crew team. Morrison said that his "dad gave me the same ultimatum that his father had given him." Either join the cross-country team or the crew team.
When asked why he chose rowing, Morrison replied, "I was a terrible runner." But perhaps there was another reason. Rowing was in his blood. Morrison's grandfather had been a rower himself.
In the 1950s, Morrison's grandfather rowed for New Zealand and had "an intense passion for the sport." Morrison, on the other hand, felt no such love for rowing during his first year. In 2011, a flood rendered the river un-rowable requiring the team to spend its season indoors and on the erg. Morrison recalled that he "hated it," but his grandfather convinced him to give it another go, "promising that once [he] began racing, [he] would catch 'the bug' and grow to love the sport." He was right.
Morrison hadn't thought much about rowing in America until his senior year. Morrison remembers the moment his dad showed him an article about another Brisbane rower who was rowing over at University in the United States. The rower was Rob Hurn '17, the captain of last year's national championship unit.
Like most of the Yale oarsmen, Morrison chose Yale because of the team culture he saw on the official visit. "It was the sort of contagious energy and passion for the sport that made the Yale squad seem so appealing. That's what I love about this team and it's what still sets us apart today." Morrison said.
At Yale, Morrison has had quite the rowing career. He won both the 2017 (3V), and 2018 (2V) Yale-Harvard Regatta, the 2018 Eastern Sprints (3V), and has completed two undefeated dual seasons (3V).
As captain, Morrison has numerous duties. He must set the tone, lead captain's practices, serve as the liaison between the coaching staff and oarsmen, and represent the team at trophy presentations. As a rower who has demonstrated his leadership skills on and off the water, the Bulldogs are in good hands.
Morrison feels that being captain is a privilege. He said, "the squad of 2019 is extremely fortunate to be inheriting the team at the best is has ever been. We now operate in the margins. Our goal remains the same. Win all the races, in every boat."
If the past few seasons are any indication, the 2018-2019 squad, led by Morrison, may very well be able to do just that.
By Izak Epstein '19, Sports Publicity Assistant. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.