By GABRIELLA GARCIA
Off season for the University of Mary Washington Men’s Rowing team is coming to a close as they prepare for the Erg Sprints on Saturday, February 24. According to first-year student, John Wray, they are well prepared and ready to do their best.
An Indoor Regatta is a race on indoor rowing machines known as ergometers or “ergs.” Erg monitors display the time and distance you have rowed, and the speed and pace at which you are rowing. The erg monitor also tells you which place you are in as you can’t see the competition ahead or behind you like in an outdoor regatta.
“I think we’re going to do well because we have a lot of novices and returning people. I think we’ll have a good line up,” said Wray. “The competitive atmosphere will provide an adrenaline boost that will encourage everyone to do their best.”
Wray has been a rower since his sophomore year of high school. “I wasn’t good at contact sports and I never felt passionate about anything I had tried. I did, however, enjoy being on the water, and I liked the people a lot better.” said Wray.
He was fortunate to find this passion in high school, as many schools do not offer rowing teams. After speaking with other students at Mary Washington, I found that many of them did not even know that we had a rowing team on campus. “That’s such an obscure sport.” said sophomore Jazeb Raja.
Regardless, these men train hard. The Men’s Rowing team typically trains six days a week at practices ranging from an hour to 90 minutes long. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday the men are in the erg room for approximately 45 minutes to and hour, sometimes followed by 45 minutes to an hour of lifting. Tuesday and Thursdays are similar except the other half of practice is more flexible. The men have the option of lifting, running, or continuing on the rowing machines. Saturdays are for personal workout in which the men train on their own time. These dedicated team members are even required to send photos of their individual workouts to the team captains to prove that they completed the required time for Saturdays.
Official practice starts at the end of February and goes through the end of the school year. Wray has been training throughout the year, with the exception of December to focus on academics and finals.
Helping out the community when time permits is also extremely important to the team. During the Fall the men traveled to Washington D.C. to hand out water to runners at the Marine Corps Marathon. They also look forward to participating in Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society later this semester.
With a big season ahead the team is working hard, as well as managing academics and time for community service. Wray stated that his personal goal was to beat his 2k PR at this years Erg Sprints. As far as the team goes, Wray says that they will work on finding what drives each other, and coming together more.
“I think it’s important to come together as a boat. Rowing as one is the first step to victory” said Wray.