By Danielle Nelson
*This article is posted on The Temple News website.
The Owls will return to Philadelphia with two medals, but they are not satisfied.
After entering three boats in Saturday’s final day of competition at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regatta in Tennessee, the men’s Novice 4 and the Junior Varsity 8 boats secured bronze medals before the regatta ended.
“We are a little disappointed,” Zephyr Dippel said. “All the boats that made the finals were really gunning for first place.”
Throughout the weekend, the Owls faced off against some of the nation’s top rowing programs like Florida Institute of Technology, Purdue and the University of Virginia, which proved to the Varsity 8 boat’s toughest challenge.
During the finals, the Varsity 8 lined up against George Washington, a team the Owls were quite familiar with during the course of the competition.
“The George Washington crew was rowing strong, they led us in the semi-finals,” co-captain Fergal Barry said. “We knew if we wanted to beat them we had to fight very hard.”
During the first 500 meters, the Owls led the Colonials but mid-way through the race, George Washington along with Florida Tech pushed in front of the Owls, leaving Temple to battle for third place with Virginia.
The Owls rowed out of medal contention with less than 500 meters to go when Virginia firmly took over the bronze medal position as Temple crossed the line in fourth place.
“If we had beaten Virginia, I would have been pleased with the whole weekend,” coach Gavin White said.
The men’s Varsity 4 boat did not make it out of the heats.
Despite the mixed results, Dippel said the race served as a learning experience as the Dad Vail Regatta is about three weeks away. There, the Owls will get a second opportunity to face the southern teams.
Temple will return to the Schuylkill on Saturday to compete in the Bergen Cup.
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