Teams expect nothing less than a win at Murphy Cup

The men’s and women’s crew teams are ready to make a splash at their seasons’ first Philadelphia regatta.

The 25th annual Murphy Cup Regatta kicks off Saturday at 11 a.m. on the Schuylkill River.

“I expect to win it,” men’s coach Dr. Gavin White said. “Our goal of every regatta is to win it.”

The coach holds his team to a higher standard, as they’ve won 23 of the first 24 Murphy Cup regattas.But the Murphy Cup – the only regatta hosted by Temple during
the season – is just the beginning of what White calls an “ambitious” spring schedule.

He said the schedule will help the team prepare for what looks to be a competitive season, especially between Temple and city rival Saint Joseph’s. White said the Hawks are “loaded” with a number of new recruits assisting an already mature team.

When all is said and done, the men’s team will hope to have accomplished one goal. That is to win the annual Dad Vail Regatta, held annually in Philadelphia at the conclusion of the season.

“If we lose every regatta and win the Dad Vail, then it’s a good year,” White said, “but if we win every other regatta and lose the Dad Vail, then it is just a mediocre year.”

Led by seniors Chris Bushek and Dante Cammarata, White said the team has grown up and bounced back from what was considered to be a down season two years ago.

The men’s and women’s teams, which share a boathouse on the Schuylkill, recently spent more than 10 hours together on a bus trip to Florida.

Once there, both teams opened their seasons competing in the Keuper Cup. The men’s regatta was held in Felsmere while the women’s regatta took place in Melbourne.

The men’s team started strong, as four of its boats finished among the top two. The Varsity 4, Varsity 4 “B” and the Varsity 8 “B” each topped the competition in their respective races while the Varsity 8 was bested by only Florida Tech.

The women’s team also saw three of its boats finish first – the Varsity 8, Varsity 8 “B” and Varsity 4. The Lightweight 4, Novice 4 and Novice 8 each finished in second place. “I’m always rooting hard for the women and they do the same for us,” White said of the camaraderie of the teams.

The women also feed off of their leader, third-year coach Tim Hagan. “We just want to go out there and contend and try to win the Murphy Cup,” Hagan said.

Winning the Murphy Cup, however, will not be an easy feat. Hagan said other area teams appear to be loaded with talent to try to usurp the Owls.

“Villanova and St. Joe’s look to be really tough this year,” Hagan said.

Hagan said he enjoys the Murphy Cup experience and how big the event has become in the last quarter-century.

“Twenty-five years ago, Temple was one of two schools involved in the Murphy Cup,” Hagan said. “This year there will most likely be over 30 schools from all over the country coming to compete with us.”

Kenny Walter can be reached at

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