Case in Points: Luke Wilhelm

Luke Wilhelm, a University of California Santa Barbara graduate, is currently training in the single out of Community Rowing in Boston. Luke came to CRI in 2013 to train for the World University Games, an experience which lead him to return to Boston the next year to enroll in the Institute for Rowing Leadership at CRI.

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As a UCSB walk-on, Luke is beginning his 8th year of rowing and 3rd year of high performance sculling. With a heavy erg and literal year-round (Luke trained in the quad on the Boston Harbor while the Charles was frozen last year) dedication for on-the-water polish, the national rowing scene is a-rustle with Luke’s name. Of particular statement, Luke finished 5th at the 2015 East Coast Speed Order time trial in the single and 7th, 5th nationally, in the 2015 Head of the Charles championship single.

As Luke has garnered few 1st, 2nd or 3rd place finishes in national races, he is ranked deep into the hundreds on the NRSL rankings by Power Score. As an athlete’s Power Score is the result of our algorithm that compares that athlete’s results to the entirety of the competition in an event, developing elite athletes like Luke will find it difficult to break into the top 100.

However, the NRSL’s ranking system also rewards racing participation and evaluates participation with a points score. With his eager involvement in national regattas, Luke is currently ranked 2nd overall by points.

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The points system is a great way for underdog athletes to acquire deserved attention for hard work and determination. The points score allots a fixed amount of points for each finish place in an NRSL recognized regatta. As long as an athlete finishes a race, they will receive some points. You’ll find that many high caliber athletes that top our chart in Power Score may be much further down when sorted by points, as those athletes often race only once or twice a year.

We at the NRSL are gearing up with excitement to spectate athletes like Luke in the 2017 racing season. After a bit of a frustrating 2016 season, Luke, like many next generation elite rowers, is hungrily awaiting the stake boats this spring. In his words: “I’ve spent a few years building momentum and learning how to train at a higher level. I think this is the year that I need to show up.”