Women’s rowing kicks off season at Navy Day Regatta

Owls enter six boats, finish fifth in best showing.

The women’s rowing team began its 2013 fall season with the Navy Day Regatta on the Schuylkill River on Saturday. Entering six boats in the day-long event, the Owls finished at the middle of the pack of each of their events.

In the Women’s Collegiate 4+ Final, Temple’s three boats finished fifth, 10th and 16th out of a total of 21 boats.  In the Women’s Collegiate JV 8+ Final, the lone Owl boat finished eighth out of 10 teams.  Finally, in the Women’s Open/Collegiate 8+ Final, Temple’s two boats finished ninthand 12th out of 21 teams.

Head coach Rebecca Gryzbowski said she was ok with how her team started out the season.

“I would say on the whole, and I’m speaking for the entire team, we’re satisfied with it,” Gryzbowski said.  “I wouldn’t say we’re happy with it, but satisfied.  In terms of where we are, it was a good chance to check in.  We definitely have some things that we have to work on the next couple of weeks, and next couple of months in terms of adding some long term speed in the spring, but for now I would say we’re satisfied with how it went down.”

Technically, Gryzbowski said she sees the power these girls display — the key is to bring everybody on the same page.

“I think the technical piece, the biggest one for us is getting our catches directly to the water altogether, and finding that leg drive with everybody altogether,” Gryzbowski said.  “There’s a lot of power, but sometimes it gets a little disjointed, so that is something we definitely need to work on.”

Senior co-captain Sarah Barber said she thought the Owls could have done better, but pointed out how much more motivated this team is than a few years ago.

“We would have liked to have done better,” Barber said.  “I think the way we came off the water, and reacted the way we did speaks a lot about our team mentality.  Because two years ago, we came off the water, and if we got 9th place, we would have been happy about that.  This year, we’re not.  We’re striving for excellence, so it’s good that the team mentality is that way.”

Fellow senior co-captain Megan Boyer said she’s also excited about what this team is capable of in the coming months, including the boat Barber and she race in.

“We did well, but there’s a lot of potential,” Boyer said.  “We have a lot of good things going for our boat, and I’m really excited about where we’re gonna go from here.”

Next up for the rowing team is the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, which is the largest two day regatta in the world.  Gryzbowski said how important is to stay focused during a quick turnaround going into October 19.

“We only have four days in Philly before we head up to Boston,” Gryzbowski said.  “So using those four days, absolutely maxing out what we can get out of each practice, and showing up ready to work and staying internal, because each boat has some very specific things they need to work on.  It’s a huge race, a lot of stuff going on.  A lot of crews, a lot of distractions, so being able to hone in and stay in your boat, row your race, focus what you need to focus on, will pay us back in the long run.”

Steve Bohnel can be reached at sbohnel@gmail.com or on Twitter @SteveSportsGuy1.

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