Sometimes, a little practice can go a long way.
The women’s crew team kicked off its season with a second place finish against its local rival St. Joseph’s and the University of Delaware in Wilmington, Del. on Saturday.
Even though St. Joseph’s took first place in the meet, the Owls have numerous opportunities to climb in the Atlantic Ten Conference standings and meet the Hawks during the A-10 Championship at the end of the year.
The Owls have four main races throughout the season. These races are largely there to allow the women to work on their rowing techniques and increase their speed as a group. The team will face off against an A-10 opponent nearly every weekend from early October through early November and into the spring season.
Other important meets include the Philadelphia Navy Day Regatta on Oct. 11 and back-to-back meets on Nov. 8 and 9 at the Philadelphia Frostbite Regatta and the Bill Braxton Memorial Regatta to close out the fall schedule.
After a brief winter break, the team heads into its spring season for a change of scenery. On April 4 the women will head across the country to California for the San Diego Crew Classic.
“It’s good exposure,” coach Tim Hagan said. “Our top eight or nine kids get to go out against some of the better schools on the West Coast.”
That could help them reach one of Hagan’s important goals for the season: improving their standing in the A-10.
“There is definitely room for improvement,” Hagan said. “The girls are pretty psyched about finishing higher because we’ve finished in seventh place for the past few years, and we’re looking to move up a few spots.”
The Owls are a significantly larger team than they have been in previous years, and the added depth should allow the team to gain more points in the nine events that it will compete in.
“We have more numbers, which is going to help us with some of the events in the [A-10],” Hagan said. “With a bigger squad we will be able to get more groups in the finals and move up in the rankings.”
The squad also has the benefit of having its boathouse back for the season. Last February, the Owls adjusted to having their equipment in tents outside the canoe club building since its boathouse was being repaired.
“It was tough, but the team dealt with it.” Hagan said.
The Owls are led by senior captains Laura Scullin and Laura Altimari. The team also has a new group of enthusiastic and highly-touted freshmen that will help it become more competitive in the A-10 Championship at the end of the season.
“The girls are pretty excited to get the season underway,” Hagan said. “They are hungry to go get faster and win some races.”
Brian Dzenis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.