Rowing team earns two bronze medals in season opener

The Novice 8+ boat and the Novice 4+ boat both finished third in their races at the Navy Day Regatta on Saturday on the Schuylkill.

The rowing team competes in the Kerr Cup on April 15, 2017 on the Schuylkill. | MAX SIMONS / TTN FILE PHOTO

When a sudden injury sidelined a Novice 8+ boat rower hours before the first regatta of the fall season, the women’s rowing team got its first taste of adversity.

“Every challenge we’ve thrown at these girls, they’ve risen to the occasion,” coach Rebecca Grzybowski said. “We’re setting ourselves up for the ultimate goal which is to be as fast as possible in May at conference championships.”

The Novice 8+ boat, despite late substitutions, finished third out of 13 teams at the Navy Day Regatta on the Schuylkill on Saturday. The Novice 4+ squad earned Temple’s other medal, also a bronze. The Owls finished the race in 17 minutes, 50.99 seconds to place ahead of fourth-place Lafayette College.

Early-season practices prepared Temple for the challenge of dealing with a lineup change, Grzybowski said.

The team practices on the water six days per week and the works out in the weight room three times a week.

“We spend the first week doing a lot of out of fitness assessments, running, lifting and getting on the rowing machines,” Grzybowski said. “All of the numbers were significantly better than last year at this time. It is always good when the team comes in fitter and faster than the year before.”

Temple had three boats in the Collegiate 8+ race, and all three finished in the top half of the 26-team field The “A’ boat led the showing with a sixth-place finish in 14:19.77 seconds. The “B” and “ C” boats finished eighth and 13th, respectively.

“We have a lot of depth,” Grzybowski said. “We put our third boat into the Champ 8+, the day’s fastest race against other teams one and two boats, and they finished 13th overall. It speaks wonders about how deep this team is.”

“Top to bottom we have a lot of people making significant improvements, and that is going to be a real challenge for us as coaches to find the best eight women to put in the first boat,” Grzybowski added. “It’s a great problem to have.

The Owls’ next race is the Head of the Charles Regatta on Saturday in Boston.

After earning two medals in their first event, the Owls look to build off their performance.

“We are a strength and endurance sport, and today was an opportunity to give everyone a little bit more experience,” Grzybowski said. “It was a really great first day, but there is a lot more speed to find.”

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