With a temperature of 101 degrees, freshman Nicholas Olimpo silently battled a fever for the past two days as the 77th annual Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta, the largest intercollegiate rowing races in the country, got underway on Friday.
“I didn’t want any of my boat members to know because I didn’t want them to get discouraged so I just kept it a secret,” Olimpo said.
But as the second and final day of competition embarked on the freshman, Olimpio felt the pressure to tell his teammates about his condition. After some medical treatment Olimpio rowed out of the second seat in the finals to help his team capture the James J. Lynch Trophy in the Varsity Lightweight 4 race, cruising pass Fordham in a time 6 minutes, 32 seconds.
“It wasn’t too big of a deal,” Olimpo said. “We were confident that we had the speed to go fast enough and win the race.”
After facing Drexel twice this season and coming up short, the Junior Varsity 8 boat was looking for redemption on Saturday as they took on the Dragons along with Virginia, Michigan, Bucknell and North Carolina in the finals on Saturday.
Rowing out of the third and fourth lanes, respectively, the Dragons and the Owls were neck and neck throughout the entire race. Eight hundredths of a second separated the Junior Varsity 8 boat from a gold medal at the finish line.
“It’s just disappointing because we could have really gotten first,” senior Joshua Kuzo said. “Second just doesn’t feel the same.”
“I am very proud of those guys,” assistant coach Brian Perkins said. “The only guys I feel bad about are the four seniors in that boat, who are never going to get that chance again. They will never get a do-over on that, that is it.”
After changing the lineup for the second half of the season, the Varsity 8 boat made it to the finals after missing out on a chance for the Richard O’Brien Trophy for the pass few years. Yet, the Owls fell short as they struggled to make up ground during the race.
The Varsity 8 boat finished in sixth with a time of 5:51.
After making it into the semifinals on Saturday, the Novice 4 and Novice 8 boats finished third and were unable to make it through to the finals.
The Varsity 4 heavyweight struggled to make it out of the quarterfinals.
Now as the Owls look to wrap up their season, Perkins said they will apply for the IRA National Championship Regatta.
Danielle Nelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org