Manhattan College Rowing Kicks off the Spring Season

By Kelly Kennedy, Senior Writer

The spring season has officially begun for the women’s rowing team. After their first meet, the team is eager to start the season.

Their first competition was on March 25 at their home course in Overpeck, NJ against Iona, Skidmore and Stockton.

According to Go Jaspers, “The Jaspers started their day competing in the 2V H2 event where they came up short to Bucknell, finishing with a time of 8:50.256. The next race was the 1V8 H2 in which Manhattan finished second behind Stockton, finishing with a time of 8:11.279.”

“The weather was not great that day, which makes it really hard to row but it was good,” senior coxswain Maura McCarthy said.  “It was kind of more of an informal race, I guess. But it was good for everyone to get out there. Good practice.”

There has been a lot of hard work from all the rowers going into this spring season, and they are happy to be back to the water.

“We just practiced inside from like January until the beginning of March,” McCarthy said. “So lots of workouts on rowing machines and cross-training too. I’d say we had a lot of PRs this winter and then so it’s exciting moving into the spring season.” 

Now that it’s the spring season, the races consist of much shorter sprints, compared to the fall when they were racing long courses. The team is now transitioning to competing in 2-kilometer races, whereas the fall season was 5-kilometer races.

“I like sprinting,” junior Lydia Gialluca said. “I like how fast it is, and it makes it more competitive. It’s a different perspective of racing and just knowing that like it’s 2000 meters, you can leave it out on the course, so it’s fast and fast is fun for me.”

Compared to other sports, rowing can be tough for athletes mentally, as it is so focused on numbers and times.

With rowing being so much of a mental sport, the team has taken extra steps to ensure the mental health of the athletes. They have hired a mental performance coach to be there for all of the athletes mentally, and on Saturdays to prepare for meets, the team does group yoga.

“I think the focus on like our mental well-being on top of our physical well-being has really changed a lot for this semester,” sophomore Victoria Coglianese said. “It’s made a huge difference in my performance and everybody else’s performance as well.”

This is Victoria’s first semester on the team, and she decided to join to find a sense of community on campus.

“It’s been good having the structure and the sense of community that it’s given me on campus has been really nice,” Coglianese said. “It’s been going well, I really enjoy the sport and I enjoy the team. Especially the people I’ve met on it.” 

The women’s rowing team is especially close as they have built their own community on campus, which is not only great for them but helps them get stronger and faster.

“We have this very strong sense of community with each other,” Gialluca said. “Even if it’s something as small as when we’re indoors or when we’re testing. Everyone is always cheering each other on. We’ll all go around and cheer on that person until they finish, and then we’ll move on to the next person as a group and go cheer them on until they finish. It’s really great knowing that you have your teammates behind you.”

As the spring season has officially begun, the team is really looking forward to seeing their improvement and getting back onto the water. Their next race will be April 8 against Canisius and Sacred Heart at their home course Overpeck Park.