The University of Texas and University of Charleston (W.Va.) will be in Natchitoches March 9-14. The University of Colorado, Kansas State University, Oklahoma City University and Wichita State University will be in Natchitoches on March 16-22. The University of Charleston and Oklahoma City are training in Natchitoches for the first time.
“Natchitoches is a rowing haven for collegiate teams,” said Jason Stelly, head crew coach at Northwestern State. “We have great water conditions without a lot of traffic and that is ideal for teams.”
Stelly said the people of Natchitoches do an outstanding job of making visitors feel welcome.
“Nothing can compare with the hospitality these teams receive,” he said. “The people let the teams know we appreciate having them here. Locally, we provide them with excellent food and hotels. All the hotels are within five miles of the water, which makes transportation easier. These teams also provide a good economic impact for Natchitoches for the several days they are here.”
In past years, Natchitoches has hosted more than a dozen teams in the spring, but a regional drought kept teams away. Fall and winter rains have brought the level of the Cane River back to where it can accommodate boat traffic.
“We’re getting the word out that we can host collegiate teams and hopefully by next year, several more teams will be training here,” said Stelly.
Stelly said Northwestern State’s crew would be racing against several of the visiting crews while they are here.