Expectations for Shocker rowing raised amongst themselves for next season

Sports Reporter

The sun glimmered against Lake Lanier. As the team gathered to unload their boats for the final time this year, there was the presence of an impending goodbye.

Yet the bus ride home was not a time to reminisce over the season they have had, or for expressing satisfaction over how close they were to exceeding their own expectations, but for what they must do to climb even higher up the ranks next season.

The men’s and women’s rowing team competed in the ACRA Championship on May 25-26.

The women’s varsity eight team was crowned SIRA champions a month prior to that, and came at the price of hard work, dedication and the building of a strong team bond.

But the fifth seeded women’s rowers finished in eighth place in the grand final ACRA Championship. Cupp’s young team knew their poise would be tested during the race and they worked tirelessly to keep themselves relaxed. However nerves got the best of his young team during the race.

“It was a learning experience for them but we wanted to finish higher than what we did and we really felt that based off of our times that we would,” said Calvin Cupp, the head coach for the Shockers rowing team. “But on race day you have to put it together … and we just didn’t put it together that day like we needed to.”

Eight of nine women’s varsity eight rowing will return next year with the disappointment of their last race fresh in their minds.

“Now that they’ve got a taste of it, I think nationals was a step-up for them of the next level of faster boats and the women trained very hard this year,” said rowing assistant coach Tori Breithaupt.

“They’re hungry, they want to prove that last year wasn’t a one and done sort of deal and they want to get faster next year,” Cupp said.

The men’s varsity eight was seeded 20th and finished 19th for the second year in the row and fell short of qualifying for the B-Final because they did not put together the showing they wanted to in the Saturday races.

There was doubt that the team could compete with some of the powerhouse programs such as Minnesota, Illinois, Oregon and Pittsburgh.

“The teams we had to beat to get to the C-Final were some pretty hard teams to beat,” said third year rower Patrick Harms.

But, after that race was over, they felt like they could compete with the other programs.

“I think it was the best race they ran all year. It was just a shame that they were in the C-Final instead of the B-Final. We really wanted to be in that 12-14 range, which we really hoped would’ve been a nice jump up from last year,” Cupp said.

Next year, Cupp’s team will boast a more experienced line-up which will be ready to impose their will on other programs.

“They’ve taken their lumps and now they’re ready to dish out more instead of take it,” Cupp said.