2022 Dad Vail Program

25YEARS AGO The Temple University Women’s Crew Team was still a newer collegiate team in 1996 having only had its first season in 1988. In 1994 the Women’s Varsity 8 boat won its first Dad Vail Regatta gold. However, the following year the boat missed the gold medal. So, by the time the 1996 season arrived the team was ready to prove their place again. “I think we were all on the same page with the hard work ethic, physical strength, and definitely mental strength too and I think that was pretty much really what got us to the championship to win Dad Vails that year,” Michelle Buszaw, who rowed from the seven seat, said. “You know, it's every day working hard together and being very dedicated,” said Athina Ginis, who rowed from the three seat. “We had a lot of experience in that boat, and we really worked well as a team. It all came together at the end,” Busza said. After returning from missing the 1995 Dad Vail Regatta Varsity 8 Gold medal the team focused on retaking the title. “As soon as we hit the water, we were all business. It didn't matter what happened that day. Once we hit the water, every single one of us was completely focused on what we needed to get done that day,” Busza said. “We always had a goal in mind and always every year no matter what time of year it is, it's always the goal to win Dad Vails,” Busza said. Temple not only won gold but did so with ease. The Owls were nine seconds faster than second place Purdue with third place Delaware a distant third. Temple coxswain Stacy Schott shared this with the media post-race, “We had a good crosswind (early), and later we had a good head wind.” “This is what our whole season was about, and with the talent of our crew and knowing the competition, it made us know we should be in good shape,” Temple coach Jamie Gordon told reporters immediately following the race. The other members of this historic boat, the last Temple women’s V8 to win gold at the Dad Vail Regatta, were: Twylla Watering (stroke), Liz Watering (6 seat), Daniel Miles (5 seat), Elise Facenda (4 seat), Victoria Schriver (2 seat) and Melissa Kurtz (bow). “That was the second gold for us, so there was pride because we were the first to win a Dad Vail gold now, we're the first to win it twice,” Ginis said. “For me, I will say it was also bittersweet because those were some of the last strokes that we would take together as a team. So, every stroke was a culmination of the years prior and all the sweat and tears, all the miles on the water, the highs of winning, and the lows of falling short, the 5am practices, the sore muscles; it was a combination of all of that.” The Varsity 8 went on to be picked by the Dad Vail Committee to go compete that year in the Henley Royal Regatta on the Thames in England. The rowers still remember the 1996 Dad Vails Regatta as a highlight in their career. “I look back with, you know, definitely a huge sense of gratitude for the experience, my teammates, and my coaches,” Ginis said. “To say that I was a member of a very special team whose whole was greater than the sum of its parts. It was it was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had, and I take that with me pretty much every day in life,” Busza said. The 1996 Temple Women’s Varsity 8 Was Prepared to Prove Their Spot By Ann Rejrat