Men’s crew powers up for spring races

After a strong fall season, men’s crew is preparing for its spring season with a training trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Ephs finished their fall season with the novice, 2V and 1V boats all making the finals in New Englands and the National Collegiate ECAC Regatta. Head Coach Peter Wells described it as “a solid year.”

Despite the victories in the fall, Wells acknowledges that the spring season will present different challenges for the men. “Rowing requires creating a very unique team every year, no matter who you have,” he said. Wells went on to explain that a strong, successful crew requires input from everyone on the boat in order to realize as a group the individual potential of each rower. “You have to figure out how to have [great] participation and contribution from everyone,” he said.

Tri-captain Joey Kiernan ’11 said the squad is optimistic about the upcoming season and hopeful that the men’s hard work and training during the winter off-season have paid off. “I think we are interested in not only excelling this spring, but moving the entire crew program to the next level,” Kiernan said. “This means looking beyond New England and establishing the program as a force on the national level.” Kiernan said one crucial step toward this goal was the program’s first victory at ECACs last spring but noted that the team will also have to establish itself in the spring. “This year is a new group of guys and a new team,” Kiernan said. “This team hasn’t won anything yet. We’re just going to try and go fast.”

Wells said he hopes to see the men build more confidence in themselves this spring, focusing on the idea that “learning is more than a day or two” of practice time. Rather, the coach stressed that training must be a continual process. “Guys have to input [what they learn] and then make it a habit month after month and then be better at helping to teach what it is they learn each year, rather than expect to be re-taught,” Wells said.

According to Kiernan, passion will be key for the Ephs to be successful. “I hope to remind guys that we all do this sport because we want to,” he said. “Once you realize that, it puts everything in perspective. In the end, guys will only get faster if they truly want it.”

The men are hoping to build off the experience they gained in competing this fall in their spring season. The Ephs powered to second in the biggest race of the fall season, the Head of the Charles, and have trained hard in the off-season to be just as successful in the spring. After their training trip to Myrtle Beach over spring break, the men are looking forward to more head racing during the spring portion of their season: They will open their season on April 2 at St. Joseph’s and Marietta on the Schuykill River in Pa.