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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Men’s Rowing turns attention to biggest races of the year

St. Joe’s men’s rowing is ranked 19 in the country as of April 24. PHOTOS COURTESY OF SJU ATHLETICS.

The St. Joe’s men’s rowing team went undefeated at their meet at the College of the Holy Cross, winning each of their three eight-man races against a field of five on April 28. They will now shift their focus to  the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia on May 10 and 11.

If the Hawks qualify for the IRA Regatta in California they will compete from May 31 to June 2.

The Collegiate Rowing Polls on ranks St. Joe’s number 19 in the country as of April 24. Their ranking is based on a methodology that combines the teams’ past race times to estimate how many seconds back they would be of the winning boat in a “standardized race,” or what that equates to in an about six minute race, according to the site.

The Hawks have not yet qualified for the IRA Regatta, but St. Joe’s Dad Vails results will contribute to determining their standing. A victory in the First Varsity eights at Dad Vails would result in an automatic bid to the IRAs.

“Even if we don’t win the 1 V event, I feel confident in our resume that we’ll be able to make it regardless, but we want to do well at Dad Vails,” senior Mike Geoghegan said.

If the team does not win the First Varsity event, they would have to hope for an at large bid, chosen by a committee. This path is not necessarily unfamiliar to the team, especially the seniors, who have received an at-large bid each of the last two years.They finished second in the First Varsity eights both years and for senior Josh Bostrom, that serves as motivation.

“The expectation and goal is always to get the gold and qualify for nationals,”   Bostrom said. “Getting silver the past two years and not qualifying automatically by getting first is definitely our motivation for this year.”

The team has not only competed on the water, but they have also had to battle factors outside of their control like poor weather, injuries and sickness throughout the year.

“Being able to push through all that stuff has made us the team we are now,” Geoghegan said. “I’m impressed with how the team is handling all that, and I’m very happy with the results. So far we’re doing really well.”

Fellow senior Justin Aikens agreed, saying that all of the obstacles the team has had to overcome this spring has made them more cohesive and motivated as a unit.

“We are hungry for the opportunity,” Aikens said. “Each individual person has had to deal with adversity and now everyone is hungry to come together and to take Dad Vail after so much time. We have gotten so close over the past few years, and I think that can drive everyone over the edge.”

For the group of eight seniors, this year’s Dad Vails will be the last they participate in.

“We know it’s our last chance, so that puts some pressure on us, but knowing this group of guys, that’s only going to make us put in that extra work,” Geoghegan said. “It just puts us a little more on edge, but it’s not a bad kind of nervous. We want to line up against any crew, and we’re the ones that will get us [to IRAs].”

For Aikens, these last two races are a culmination of his career at St. Joe’s, and he wants to end his time among the top teams in the nation, a goal he thinks is realistic for this group.

“The first thing is we’ve established a culture over the last three years,” Aikens said. “Now that we’ve been in this together for four years, we see the importance of staying focused, and making smart choices on and off the water to put ourselves in the best position to succeed. Hopefully we get into the top 15 in the country this year. With the volume of work we have put in I think we have the power to do it.”

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