For the first time this spring season, the men’s and women’s crew teams were on their home river.
Saturday, both Owls squads hosted the annual Murphy Cup Regatta on the Schuylkill River. Forty-three colleges from 35 cities in 12 states came up to compete in the Regatta. The women’s team had a strong showing in its second meet this year, winning the Varsity 8 Petite Final with a time of 6:56.81.
“We are excited we won the Petite Final, which was the seventh through 12th-place final,” women’s coach Tim Hagan said. “Our Freshman 8 team came in third place, and our Lightweight 4 finished in fourth place.”
The Novice 8 team finished with a time of 7:07.63, and the Lightweight 4 team finished with a time of 8:14.16. In its first meet of the year, the team had a second-place finish in the Mayor’s Cup Regatta in Tampa, Fla.
The Owls also had a chance to look at some of their Atlantic Ten Conference opponents, like in-state rivals Duquesne, Saint Joseph’s and La Salle.
“It was our first big meet of the year for everybody,” Hagan said. “It was a good way to see how we were all doing.”
The Owls look to carry their momentum out to California for the San Diego Crew Classic. Following the West Coast trip, the team heads to Collingswood, N.J., for the Knecht Cup and the A-10 Championships.
“It was definitely a good start for us,” Hagan said. “We did some good rowing.”
After starting off its spring season with a first-place finish in the Mayor’s Cup, the men’s team also had a strong showing during the Murphy Cup. The Novice 4 and Junior Varsity 8 both had first-place finishes in their races with the respective times of 7:00.02 and 6:02.21. The Varsity 8 team lost its bid at defending its Murphy Cup crown by finishing just 2.41 seconds behind Jacksonville.
“[Temple] had an early lead, and then one of the other teams took the lead,” men’s coach Gavin White said. “They were only 20 meters ahead of us with about 500 to 600 meters to go.”
The Owls performed well at the Murphy Cup despite being one of the younger crews competing in the 43-team meet.
“It is a young crew, and they have to learn,” White said. “There is only one senior.”
Following the Murphy Cup, the Owls will have some traveling to do, just like their female counterparts. The men’s crew will compete in the Knecht Cup Regatta in Camden, N.J., and then will head out to Oak Ridge, Tenn., for the SIRA Regatta before it gets a chance to race again in Philadelphia. The Owls have two weeks to reflect on what they achieved during the Murphy Cup before they head to Camden.
“We just had a 43-team meet, and we are amazed at how well it went,” White said.
Brian Dzenis can be reached at email@example.com.