Temple University’s men’s crew team has high hopes of becoming a national powerhouse. With several key wins and a strong balance in talent, the team is well on it’s way to becoming a force to be reckoned with.
“We’ve had a pretty strong season so far. We’ve raced the top two teams in the country and we lost to them with very small margins,” junior Marcus McElhenney said. “We need to improve on boat speed. Just the entire eight getting together and row better together.”
“So far we’ve beat a couple of Ivy League schools and they’re pretty big in the sport. We beat Georgetown and they are consistently in the top 10 and 15 in the country,” sophomore David Insogna said. “We still need to work a little bit and we’re trying to go undefeated for the rest of the year basically.”
The crew team has attributed much of its success to hard work, determination, and a decorated coach whose credentials in the sport of crew speak for itself.
Doctor Gavin White, the head coach of the men’s crew team, has led the team in qualifying for the Royal Henley Regatta in Great Britain seven times. He also coached the men’s four at the 2000 Olympics Games in Sydney.
To add to his list of accomplishments as a coach, White has also serves as a four-time U.S. National Rowing Team coach. He also has some help this year from two veterans on the team.
“Our two seniors have really taken control of the team and helped us mature,” Insogna said.
However the team did need to have help this year from their underclassmen as well.
“I think that I’ve stepped up,” Insogna said. “I’m only a sophomore and the rest of our team is pretty young and we only have two seniors graduating we had to kind of get mature pretty fast but I think we’re doing well.”
“I think he’s also stepped up as a team leader,” McElhenney said of Insogna.
As far as the future of this team goes, there are competitions that they are looking forward to.
“May 11 and May 12 [is the] Dad Vail Regatta. It’s in Philadelphia, we’d love to win,” McElhenney said. “Nationals is two weeks later and we’re invited to that and it’s really important to do well there.”
This year they would like to finish in the top six at nationals, where as last year, they finished eighth.
“Of course we want to do better than last year and I eventually want to go to the Royal Henley Regatta in England, which is July 4, as a goal … it’s a real fast race,” McElhenney said.
This weekend the team will host a Regatta called the Murphy Cup, which will be held on the Schuykill River.
Saudia R. Mitchell can be reached at Smitch02@temple.edu