by Pete Janny & Anna Woods , Sports Editor & Asst. News Editor
The Manhattan College men’s crew team is one of three club teams on campus. Naturally, they don’t have the same privileges and prestige as the varsity athletic teams. Instead, the continuity of the team is fueled by a genuine love for crew and the strong bonds between teammates. Unbeknownst to many, the team’s schedule is arguably just as demanding as the typical calendar of a varsity team.
Few sports are like crew in terms of how long their competitive season is. There are essentially no breaks given that their competitive schedule is year round. The team competes outdoors during the fall, spring, and summer and then trains in Draddy during the winter months.
“A normal week includes 6 morning practices during the week, and night workouts,”
Brian Weir said. “The morning practices on Monday through Friday begin at 5:30 a.m., and practice on Saturday begins at 8 a.m.”
Their busy schedule is not easy to balance with academic responsibilities. For many, staying organized is the best way for them to maintain their studies.
“It is definitely challenging to balance a heavy workload with a full practice schedule, but the key is to make sure you got your work done on time so it doesn’t interfere with practice,” junior Aidan Gormley said.
Despite their challenging schedule, the men have found a family on the team that they say makes it all worth it. Many of the team members feel that their commitment to the team has allowed their social lives to flourish.
“I feel like being on the team impacts my social life in a positive way. I’ve met a lot of people doing it, and we’ve become good friends,” Brian Weir said. “We also hang out aside from rowing. It really has no negative impacts on social life.”
In his first year on the team, Freshman captain Phillip Gran
itto has used crew to help him acclimate to life at Manhattan. Granitto feels there was no better way to get his college career started than doing crew.
“Joining this team was the best thing I could have ever done when I came here,” Granitto said. “From the social aspect to the success and gold medals that we’ve achieved, it’s truly been a great experience that I’m so grateful to be a part of.”
Gormley’s decision to join the team came under different circumstances than most. With the team defunct his freshman year, Gormley pounced on the opportunity to get involved when the team was revived in time for his sophomore year after a two-year hiatus. Part of the joy of being on the team for Gormley are the additional friendships he has been able to make.
“Some of the strongest relationships I have made are on the rowing team,” Gormley said. “The rowing team definitely shaped my college experience.”
Since they are only a club team, teammates join purely out of the fun of competing in a sport they enjoy. The beauty of a club team is that all skill levels are welcomed and there are no financial obligations to start out.
“The program is entirely free, the sport is incredibly rewarding, you can walk on with no experience, and it’s a great group of guys,” Gormley said.
In the past they have discussed transforming the club team into a varsity team. However, achieving varsity status is not something that the team is interested in doing at the moment. For them, being classified as a club team provides them more flexibility than varsity status would. It allows them more freedom when scheduling regattas.
“Being a club team means that we’re allowed to compete in any regattas at any time,” Gormley said. “This also permits us with the flexibility to practice on our own terms. We have spoken about being a varsity team before, but we enjoy the freedoms that being a club team allows us.