St. Edward’s Rowing club discusses this season’s changes and regatta successes

Lauren Zambrano

We all press snooze a couple times on our alarm before actually starting our day. Now, imagine not pressing the snooze button and waking up before 5:30 a.m. to head out to Lady Bird Lake.

This is exactly how members of the St. Edward’s University Rowing Club team start their day. They wake up at the crack of dawn to meet at Hunt Hall and then start their day by rowing.

The team hits the lake out of the dock of Austin Rowing Club until 7:30 a.m. 

Because of their dedication, this year in particular was a successful one for the team. On Nov. 7, the team entered into a competition in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which was also one of furthest places they have traveled to. Not only was this one of the biggest regattas the team has seen, but also one with high competition.

The Men’s College Club 4+ defeated 22 other colleges in this event out of 54. The fact that St. Edward’s has a much smaller pool to choose from than ones like the University of Texas at Austin, University of Alabama, or University of Kansas did not let this stop them.

They were able to leave with a strong showing. The Women’s College Club 4+ beat 33 out of 64 other colleges, which included both Texas and Texas A&M University, again, both high levels of competition.

The team has a new coaching staff, which is one of the reasons they had such a successful year. The new coach is one they met through being at the Austin Rowing Club, who showed interest to the team. Before, the team was taught more for fun. However, the team changed the tone to get more serious in the training and worked with their new coach to ensure success.

Another reason for the team’s success is because they are led by senior President Mark Denman. He has been a member of the team since they had just eight members and now that number is close to 30.

“We were able to compete at the highest level of club rowing that exists; we saw that we can perform at this level,” Denman said.

Denman goes on to share that they have acquired two boats that are in their name, which is important for the team because it is “a benchmark for the team, having the funding and skills needed.”

Vice President Jack Beasley speaks about the team, adding, “There is an overwhelming sense of unity and teamwork when you row. You rely on not only your own mental and physical strength, but that of your teammates.”

Beasley also says “it’s a perfect 1:1 ratio of balance through teamwork. It was something I had not experienced in my life before.” Club rowing offers exactly this, a new experience for all.

The team is divided into two teams: novices and varsity. The novices are learning the fundamentals, while the varsity perfect their form and compete. The team also says they are looking into cutting practice days and to move times to later on in the day for novices.