The No. 19 men’s team earned three gold medals. The women brought back four medals but no golds.
The Temple men’s and women’s crew teams took to the Schuylkill River this past weekend to compete in Philadelphia’s Bergen Cup, a race that features only Philadelphia colleges and determines the city’s best teams on each side.
“It’s like a Big 5 basketball game because there might be someone who is heavily favored, but on game day or race day, you never know what’s going to happen,” men’s coach Gavin White said.
The No. 19 men’s crew team entered the Bergen Cup as the defending champions in the Varsity 8 and the Freshmen/Novice 4. They successfully took home both titles again.
The Owls’ victory in the first Varsity 8 was the result of a come-from-behind win against Drexel. Temple completed the comeback for a two-length victory versus the Dragons that White described as a “sound beating.” The second Varsity 8 also claimed gold.
White said the Bergen Cup, which is the last race before the Dad Vail Regattas on May 7 and 8, helped serve as a tune-up for a squad that has no current Dad Vail winners on it.
“We are very confident heading into the Dad Vails,” White said. “That race is so important. If you lose every race and win that one, it’s a successful season, and if you win every race and lose that one, it’s not a successful season. Everything revolves around that race because we’ve got to win the Dad Vails to qualify for the national championship, [and] I don’t believe we’ve seen anybody we can’t beat.”
Unlike the men’s crew team, the women’s crew team did not bring back the top prize, but the Owls did medal four times. The Varsity 8, second Varsity 8 and the Freshmen/Novice 4 all won bronze medals, while the Varsity 4 picked up the silver.
The first Varsity 8 finished in third place behind Drexel and Saint Joseph’s. Coach Tim Hagan called it a “strong race” that allowed the competitors to see who’s the “fastest in the city.”
“It was close, but we were a second behind St. Joe’s last week, and I think we’re around that still,” Hagan said.
The Owls entered the Bergen Cup fresh off a third-place finish in last week’s Atlantic Ten Rowing Championships. The third-place finish was their best finish at the event in 12 years.
“We had a great showing last week at A-10s,” Hagan said. “We were pretty pumped up for A-10s, and they were definitely great as far as a confidence boost for us.
“Each week we’ve gotten faster and faster, and I know the rowers are excited about what we’ve got left,” Hagan added. “We are definitely excited for Dad Vails and showing everybody what we’ve been doing all season thus far.”
Both Temple Crew teams are off this week and will use that time to prepare for the Dad Vail Regatta May 7-8 on the Schuylkill River.
Raymond Boyd can be reached at Raymond.Boyd@temple.edu.