By JOHN WRAY
As the University unthaws from a very cold and rainy winter with only one good snow day in the books, the campus is ready for spring and to feel the warm weather again. Some of the most excited students on campus are the ones that are involved in spring sports.
The UMW men’s rowing team is beyond thrilled to be getting the warm weather back during the day but more importantly during the morning at practice time. The crew team has been on the water for a few weeks now and have been paving the way to have a successful spring season. Many students believe the team practices on the Rappahannock River, however it is much too rocky and it would end up being a Titanic story.
The team practices at Hope Springs Marina which is about twenty minutes north depending on the traffic. It is an inlet off the Potomac River with a lot of room for the crew team to practice. In order to get to Hope Springs on time the team has to get up at the crack of dawn with the stars. They must walk across campus to get into their stylish UMW vans.
A typical practice day for the team would be getting up before 5am to make it to the Alvey parking deck by 5:15 a.m. and then leave in the vans by 5:30. They get to Hope Springs around 5:50 and try to be on the water by 6 a.m. The stars are still out at this point but the boats all have a bow and stern light so the Coach and other boats out on the water can see them in the dark. Water practice lasts about 90 minutes.
The crew team had a rough start to the season with their first race but are looking to make a strong comeback in the upcoming weeks. They have two races left this season and are in high hopes of doing well at both of them. One is on the 14th of this month, it is the Kerr Cup in Philadelphia on the Schuylkill River. The last one is also in Pennsylvania but not in the same place. The regatta is called MARCS and it is on the 28th of this month in a town called Lewisberry on Pinchot Lake.
The races are 2000 meters long and last about six or seven minutes. They may be a short time to some people but it is a very painful six minutes.
It is not new news anymore that Ken Tyler, the Athletic Director, is being replaced. This caught the attention of many athletes and had them wondering what was going to happen to their respective sport.
The crew team was especially shocked about this happening but did not look at it as a bad thing. Co/Captain Kyle Moran is the teams only senior and has rowed all four years since he has been at UMW.
As an incoming freshmen, Ken Tyler took away the teams varsity status which hurt the teams funding substantially. Rowing and Rugby are in the same category as high liability sports, which means the athletes are at greater risk of injuring themselves.
For example, in the colder weeks it is important for the rowers to stay safe because in the event that the boat flips they are in danger of hypothermia and shock from the frigid water. This means the University is required to cover the team with insurance, but in return does not give them much funding to support the sport.
Rowing is an expensive sport to have and the team itself, due to so little funding, has to pay out of their own pockets to cover a majority of the fees. The boats and oars alone that the crew team uses cost thousands of dollars each. So, with the looks of a new athletic director, the crew team is excited and hopeful at the possibility of getting back their varsity title and more funding to support the team.
Kerr Cup this weekend 14th in philly on the schuylkill river
MARCSon the 28th Lewisberry Penn Pinchot lake