Under first year head coach Mark Wilson and assistant coach James Dietz II, the Stetson men's and women's rowing teams are busy preparing for this weekend's Florida Intercollegiate Rowing Association state championships at the Nathan Benderson Rowing Course in Sarasota, Fla.
The regatta features the top collegiate rowing programs from the state of Florida. Heats will take place on Friday with the finals to be contested on Saturday.
"The team is really getting pumped up about the trip and the chance to show some speed this weekend," Wilson said. "The teams have had three weekends of racing at home and are anxious to get on the road and compete against other Florida teams."
"The men's pair of David Nutting and Mike Sigist is really humming along," Dietz said. "These two guys have put in a lot of miles and the time together really shows at practice. They are very excited to race against other men's pairs this weekend."
"The women's Novice 8 is also gaining confidence and solidifying as a unit," Wilson said. "All the women in this boat but one started rowing in January so they are really novice, but they have a great attitude and are really excited about showing what they have learned. They are not the biggest crew or the strongest but they have heart. They have been a pleasure to coach this spring and we just want them to have a solid race and feel good about racing together."
The varsity women are poised for two Varsity 4's and a Light Varsity 4 race on Saturday.
"The fours have been Stetson's main boats in the past and we are continuing that tradition this year," Wilson said. "I hope to race 8's and other boats, too, but right now we are excited about the athletes getting out there and giving it their best."
"The novice men are a good group with a mix of experience and true novice college rowers," Dietz said. "These men have a lot of promise but are just beginning to know what they can do. They are small in stature but have the desire to do well and improve daily. We have quite a mix of atheltes in the boat but when they hit the legs togehter there is power there."
In addition, Wilson said Sunday will mark the 25th anniversary of Stetson Rowing and a celebration will be held at the team's rowing site on Lake Beresford for all friends, family, and fans.