by Richard Gerling, Contributor
Finishing the fall 2018 season, the Manhattan College men’s club rowing team looks forward to the spring season. This year, there were a lot of new rowers, meaning that they started from the ground up in terms of preparation. With this in mind, this next season looks to be stronger as they continue to grow and develop as rowers.
This season, the team raced at the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta in Philadelphia, Pa. and at the Bill Braxton Regatta in Camden, N.J. Both the College Freshman/Novice 8 and a Men’s Club Championship 8 raced.
The coach of the team, Karla Ward, praised the team’s improvements.
“The team has made great strides since day one,” said Ward. “It was great to see families at the local venue supporting their sons; many of whom are first-year rowers.”
Senior history major Vincent Wiedemann joined the team as a freshman and is the only returning member from the previous coach. He described the growing pains that occurred at the beginning of the season that accompanied the first-time rowers.
“I think it started off kind of tough,” said Wiedemann. “Last year was the first we revamped the whole program, so I’m the only kid from before the new coaching. There were a lot of novices this year, so you have to practice with kids that don’t know what they’re doing yet, so there was a lot of development in the beginning.”
However, as the season progressed, he began to see the fruit of their labor.
“I was actually pretty happy to see the progression from where we started to where we are now,” Wiedemann continued. “Obviously, there’s more work to be done, but the novices this year are doing a lot better than the ones last year because they’re really into it.”
Junior communication major Topher Nuzzo joined the team in the fall.
“I think that there were a lot of new people on the team this year so it was rough starting off, but I think we pulled through and we’re starting to trust ourselves as a team, and while we might not have necessarily did the best that we could have, over time we are going to be able to develop,” Nuzzo said.
As there are many new rowers on the team, the fall season is primarily focused on advancing the novice rowers and getting them to a place where they can race at practice. The strategy this season was to gain as much racing experience as they can.
“The strength of this year’s team is the recruitment of upperclassmen,” said Ward. “The potential of this group is tremendous. I think they will surprise themselves come spring and the next few years. If they trust the process and fully commit to one another, success will come.”
Until the spring season, the team is focusing on conditioning rather than rowing. There are about two weeks left for morning workouts.
“After Thanksgiving, we’re going to have practice every morning during the week at 5:00 a.m. for conditioning,” Wiedemann said.
In the spring season, the team looks to come with an even stronger showing.
“We have a lot of time to prepare for [next season] and we’re only growing stronger as a team every day, so I have no doubt that we’ll be able to pull through with quite a few wins,” said Nuzzo.
In the spring semester, the team is looking to compete in four indoor races and four outdoor races, one being in Florida. The team will be traveling to Tampa, Fla. for spring break to compete in a regatta, as well as do some training in Wellington, Fla. like they did during spring break of 2018.
“We are going to be able to do a lot of things that we don’t normally do on the water, which will definitely help us get better as a team,” Nuzzo said. “I think that will be a great experience since we’ll get to race against teams that we don’t normally race against in this area.”
Wiedemann concluded with his thoughts on the team’s success and outlook for the spring season.
“I’m excited to see where we’re going this year. In a couple of years, we might be able to see some good results.”