Bartman’s international experience and extensive rowing knowledge allow team members to learn more about technique and the sport, adds Captain Caitlin Lawson. “He pushes us every day, focusing on each athlete to perform to their highest potential,” says Lawson, an industrial and systems engineering student. “With his guidance, we continue to improve our performance, and we’re always looking for ways to better ourselves.” Bartman often harkens back to his Olympic days to prep his team—whether it’s improving their physiology or motivating themwith a story. “With the Olympics, four years of work comes down to a little less than six minutes of performance,” he says, quickly deadpanning. “No pressure.” Such intense competition taught him how to stay level-headed during highstress situations, a skill he works to pass along to the athletes, Bartman says. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or elite, the struggle is the same.” In fact, composure and a strong work ethic generally will beat out a height advantage for a true edge over the competition, he says. “Your mentality is one of the biggest components of becoming a successful rower,” says Bartman, noting he has high hopes for the Rams at Dad Vail on May 12-13. In a unique move, the regatta will be temporarily held at the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, NJ (A dredging project forced the event from its usual spot on the Schuylkill River this year.) A change of venue shouldn’t impact the Rams in their quest for a top finish in this important event, Bartman says. A positive showing at Dad Vail could earn Jefferson a bid for the NCAA Division II Championship. Last year, the Rams earned fourth place in the NCAAs—the best finish in school history. But like most coaches, especially experienced ones, Bartman doesn’t want to look too far ahead. Right now, he remains focused on Dad Vail and all the excitement that comes with it. “I’m just looking forward to a great weekend of racing,” Bartman says.