Story by Keith Jaco
Down in the depths of the Carr Health Building, a historically unique club team is putting in the offseason work to make a name for themselves next season.
The Murray State rowing team started offseason conditioning in hopes of making a deep run in the spring.
The rowing team is comprised of students from all walks of life. Students are encouraged each semester to come to try-outs and see what the team is all about. For those looking to get involved on campus or even just stay in shape, the rowing team offers opportunities for new members each season.
Men’s team captain Ryan Garcia, sophomore from southern Indiana, joined the rowing team in pursuit of a new athletic challenge.
“After so many years of just running, I got pretty sick of it,” Garcia said. “I definitely wanted to try something new, so whenever I found out about rowing I thought that was the perfect thing to get into, especially since it’s a sport where most of the members are almost all first-year athletes.”
Although the rowing team isn’t an official University sport, Garcia is confident the team works just as hard as any team on campus and beyond.
“I would love for the campus to know we’re out here working hard and representing the school well every time we go out and compete,” Garcia said. “We may be a smaller school compared to these SEC and Big 10 schools, but we still put up great competition and even beat them sometimes. Some of our victories in the past have gone unnoticed by the school and it would just be nice to get our team some recognition.”
The team’s fall season came to a conclusion with an appearance in the Head of the Chattahoochee Regatta in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Nov. 3-4. The Racers were among 250 teams who participated in various events with their sights set on leaving Chattanooga decorated in awards.
Now that offseason preparations are underway, the team will work out five times a week with weights, sprints and ergometer machines in the Carr Health Building.
As seasons change, so do the type of contests the rowing team participates in. The spring season is tailored to a 2K race format, as opposed to the marathon 5Ks of the fall season. This change in competition makes offseason conditioning more important.
The Racer rowing team is led by Head Coach Matt Weaver, a former rower for Murray State who to this day remains a constant teacher and fan of the sport.
This offseason, Weaver would like to see his team get into the best shape of their athletic careers.
“We have to get better at conditioning,” Weaver said. “We have to get a lot of work in on the indoor rowing machines, the ergometers, because our conditioning was a little weak this semester with it being my first year back.”
The Murray State rowing team will be back in action on Sunday, Feb. 3, when they participate in the Tennessee Indoor Rowing Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Racers will be back on the water on Mar. 23 in the John Hunter Regatta in Gainesville, Georgia.
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