New additions to this year’s rowing team could make or break their national rankings
Addy Camisa and Olivia DeGraca
The Santa Clara
October 19, 2017
Fall sports are in full swing, but the Men’s Rowing team has been busy focusing on how to recapture last year’s successes with a team full of first-year athletes.
Last year’s team had many great triumphs such as qualifying for the Henley Royal Regatta last June.
The Henley Royal Regatta is by far the most prestigious rowing event in the world. This particular regatta begun in 1839 and only the best teams in the world qualify.
The Santa Clara crew team competed against 73 other teams in the Temple Challenge Cup sector of the regatta but lost to the University of California, Berkeley just before the semifinals.
Overall, they ranked eighth and finished their season oversees in England.
Last season’s team and this year’s team are quite different. Although the team seems to have a very positive attitude about the upcoming season, fans may be doubtful because the roster is stocked full with first and secondyear rowers.
The majority of the team has had only one year or no experience with college rowing. Coaches and crew members are optimistic about the age gaps but it is the experience gap that may cause a bigger threat to the teams success.
“This season we are seeing our team become much younger, with a larger population of freshmen and sophomores,” senior captain and crew team veteran, Nick Cisners said while reflecting on the differences between the 2017 season and the upcoming 2018 season.
Yet, despite potential doubts, the first-year members are ecstatic for the mere opportunity of rowing for the Santa Clara team.
“I am excited to be a part of the team that is moving up in national rankings,” first-year Grant Devermann said. “And hopefully starting this year and throughout the next three years, I hope to be a part of that change.”
Another first-year, Sahil Sagar, expressed similar feelings and pointed out his class is overjoyed at having the opportunity to travel all over the country this year.
When asked about how his high school rowing experience compares to rowing at Santa Clara, first-year Arman Araghi said, “The quantity of work is significantly more and harder.”
This season, the team has been training for almost six weeks now, having come to Santa Clara before the school year had begun.
The team practices four times a week during preseason and often endure double-days. It seems as though the intense training is already paying off.
“I guess that our team is already rowing faster than we were last year,” Devermann said. “Being a first-year, I am becoming better at following my stroke.”
In the upcoming winter and spring quarters, the team will practice every morning of the week except Sundays.
Despite all their eager enthusiasm, Sagar explained that as a team, they are looking to “work on our technique and our overall fitness.” Summer gaps often set back teams and the crew team is not an acception.
“We have a long ways to go until we are in tip-top condition,” Sargar continued, “but we have a great team and a great coach, and we are going to have a great year.”
Cisneros also finds training to be an important aspect of preparing for this season.
“Our main focuses this season are development of underclassmen,” he said. “Additionally, we need to develop increasing power and fitness across longer training sessions.”
And though their official season has not yet begun for this school year, the team is anxiously awaiting its arrival.
Cisneros said they are “still very much in the hunt for the top twenty in the nation and are looking to defend [their] conference title.”
The team has a lunch soon with the University President Michael Eng, S.J., to celebrate the start of another long and hard-fought season.
The teams racing season will kick off in Las Vegas, where they will race against Stanford and Oregon State in early March.
This event will be followed by the San Diego Crew Classic within the first week of April.
The San Diego Crew Classic will be celebrating its 45th annual crew classic with boats from all across the country, including Santa Clara.
Though improvement is necessary for the developing team, rowers, coaches and fans alike are all hoping to see a positive change. After losing key components to their team since last year’s graduation, the first-years are in the hot seat.
Contact Addy Camisa at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.