The Owls went home after Saturday’s Navy Day Regatta with a desire to improve and plenty of ideas on how to do it.
Temple competed in the Men’s Open/Collegiate 8+ Final, with senior Fergal Barry’s boat coming in 14th in 12 minutes, 46 seconds and junior Connor Murphy’s boat clocking 12:57 for an 18th place finish out of 32 boats.
Coach Gavin White said he felt positive the team would do better at the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta and the Princeton Chase, both of which will take place in two weeks.
“I’m looking forward to it,” White said of the upcoming races. “The varsity four could finish Top 10 [in the Schuylkill race] and the freshmen could also place Top 10. And that’s what we’re shooting for, something like that. I can’t tell you better than that. It’s so early in the season.”
White said plenty of changes were going to be made over the next two weeks, and he thinks the team will enjoy making the necessary adjustments.
“I want to re-rig the boat, get it set up,” White said. “I think we changed a few things we shouldn’t have. I’m going to put them back. I’m going to change a couple guys from one boat to the other. Sometimes on race day, some guys are great at keeping their performance [consistent], and some guys dip, some guys go high. I want guys that are more consistent [in the first boat], and I think I saw a couple guys like that in the second boat today.”
Barry, one of two captains, also saw where improvements could be made.
“[We need to work on] the back end and letting the boat run a bit more,” Barry said. “And just our cardio, just starting to get back to do more cardio. For the next two weeks we’ve got a lot of work to do. Just get a bit more cohesion in the boats, and I’m confident we’ll do better. Two weeks is a long time, so [we’ll] just work from there.”
Both Barry and White said the team was dissatisfied with their performance.
“I think they still haven’t got over today yet,” Barry said. “We’ll get back to the drawing board Monday and start working on it from there.”
Despite the team’s disappointment, White remained optimistic.
“They’re down right now a little bit,” White said. “They’re used to doing better than they did. But like I said, they’re good boys. They listened to what I told them, and they did exactly what I told them. Perhaps I didn’t tell them enough. Perhaps I didn’t ask for enough.”
White said he’s confident he can push his team much further in two weeks.
Junior Joshua Kuzo also said that the team will be better in the next two races, and can use their experience in the Navy Day Regatta as a springboard.
“It’s a good race, because we’ve got some things to work on now — we have some goals,” Kuzo said. “We’ve got to think about the back end of the stroke coming out of the water. We’ve got to think about getting together. And we’ve got to get off the rowing machine a little more, get a little stronger.”
“We’ve got some work to do,” Kuzo added, “But after these next two weeks we should be a lot more confident. We should be a little more together, and it should be good for us.”
Don McDermott can be reached at email@example.com.