The Stetson rowing team competed in its second regatta of the spring Friday, competing against Jacksonville, the Coast Guard Academy, Temple, and Simmons at Lake Beresford in DeLand.
Stetson continues to move forward, which has been the team's motto since head coach Mark Wilson began last fall. Friday the team sent out more boats at a single regatta than in recent years and all were competitive.
Wilson and assistant coach James Dietz II felt really good about lineing up with some of the east coast's best programs and performing well.
"Having the Women's Novice 8 place a close second to Simmons was really great," Wilson said. "I do not think the team even realized that they were racing other teams third Varsity boats and this group is 7/8ths walk-ons, three of whom only started rowing last month. The Men's Novice 8 also did really well against a very solid Temple and Jacksonville team.
"Our guys are small but they fight large," Dietz said. "These guys have a lot to learn but they are hungry for learning and developing and that makes me want to help them even more."
The Women's Varsity 8 came off the line with a new line-up, a new stoke pair and were in the mix to the 500m mark when an oar popped out and the race was lost.
"Bad things happen, but that was really unfortunate," Wilson said.
Three of the four in the Women's Varsity 4 came out of the 8 and jumped into the next race with a will to win and they raced hard. With a very slight lead at the 1000m mark over Temple and Jacksonville, they lost a little power in the third 500m and eventually placed second, still a great accomplishment. Wilson said a win over Jacksonville was a huge motivational boost that will help them move forward to next week.
"Overall it was a very nice day on the water of Lake Beresford with great guests all pitching in to make the day a great success," Wilson said. "A special congratulations to Temple for winning 12 of the 13 races today.
"Stetson Rowing is on the way and we are proud to wear the Hatter Green!!"
Stetson will compete again March 23 on Lake Beresford.