St. Edward’s rowing club finishes year with strong strokes


The St. Edward’s University Rowing Club finished their season on April 16.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated throughout.

While some people complain about having to wake up for a 10:00 a.m. class,  there are about 20 dedicated student-athletes who wake up before the sun rises for strenuous practice at 5:30 a.m.

And that practice paid off, as the St. Edward’s University Rowing Club finished their season at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA’s) Championship Regatta in Oak Ridge, Tennessee from April 14-16. The men’s lightweight varsity team did well, but the varsity women’s four team earned silver medals in the championship.

“We went into this race with nervousness and pressure to prove that our performance during our time trials wasn’t just a fluke,” sophomore rower Melika Alea Gradek said. “But we did it. We rowed the hardest that we have ever rowed and came in second behind Purdue [University].”

In the preliminary time trials, the women’s team placed third, with other boats just seconds behind them. This was a feat in itself, which also landed them in the championship regatta.

The way it works on the water is the crew of four row with oars, while their coxswain (cox) navigates them.

Representing St. Edward’s at SIRA’s as the silver medalists are: Gradek, Jennifer Bommer, Sarah Longe and Jacqueline Chisholm and cox Emily Kivett.

The women’s novice four were: Juliette Garcia, Marianna Pasaret, Addie Woodard, Destinnie Bujanda and cox Tyler Vyazmensky. The men’s lightweight members were: Mark Studer, Dylan Stonecipher, Adrian Duran, Darren Garcia and cox Garrett Martin.

The rowing club’s sprint season started in January, as the team competes in the 1,000 and 2,000 meter races. Practices take place five times a week for two hours at the Austin Rowing Club, off of Trinity Road on Town Lake.

In March, the St. Edward’s University Rowing Club also competed in the Heart of Texas Regatta in Austin, where the masters mixed-eight earned a first-place medal.

“The bond between the team is very close knit,” Gradek said. “You get to know someone very well when you’re seeing them at 5:30 in the morning a couple times a week. Also, during our regattas and road trips is another time that we grow closer as a team.”