Temple Men’s Varsity Heavyweight Eight Leaves Their Mark on Program
Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta
Philadelphia, PA – When it comes to the Men’s Varsity Heavyweight Eight race at the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta, Temple University has been synonymous with winning.
Throughout the 80-year history of the event, the Owls have stroked their way to victory 21 times including a Dad Vail record of 13 consecutive victories from 1989 – 2001.
One of the reasons behind their success was the consistency in leadership with Dr. Gavin White steering the team for 37 years before stepping aside in 2016 when assistant coach Brian Perkins ’92 took the helm.
Since taking over, Perkins has quietly built Temple back into the perennial force it had become during the 1990’s and early 2000’s. In 2016, Perkins helped to lead the Owls to a bronze medal in the Varsity Heavyweight Eight at the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta and has also seen his crews win the San Diego Crew Classic and earn multiple trips to the IRA National Championships.
Following a disappointing 2017 campaign, the Owls returned to the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta last year hoping to make some noise. After advancing to the Grand Finale in the men’s penultimate event, the Owls won their first gold medal since 2004 and did so in record time (5:34.409) defeating local foe Saint Joseph’s University and Colgate.
“We had these big diverse groups of seniors come through the program in 2016 and 2017 that reacted wildly different,” Perkins said. “The 2018 crew just made a decision to trust the process and take every race as a learning opportunity. They got a little better and a little closer every week and the confidence just built. They were a fun group to work with. Winning meant the world as these guys who worked so hard were able to reap the reward finally and leave their mark on the history of Temple Crew.”
“Winning the varsity heavyweight eight last year meant more to me than any victory or loss I’ve had in my rowing career,” said senior Stephen Daniel Gennaro, who rowed in the bow seat “We climbed the ladder all season, inching our way to the top week by week, second by second, and on Dad Vail Saturday we proved to everyone what we already knew.”
For the first time since 2004 Temple will enter the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta as the defending Varsity Heavyweight Eight champions and they realize if they want to defend their title they will have to fight off their opponents who will no doubt bring their best.
“We try to train to a standard and not really worry about outcomes,” said Perkins, who has only 3 returners from last year’s Heavyweight Eight Varsity boat. “What we did last year worked, so there is comfort in the process if we execute.”
Junior Nicholas Carbonaro added, “In terms of our expectations and our thoughts going into Dad Vails, they are staying the same. Go out there and race like it the last time we will ever have an oar in our hand. Outside of that, I think the team acknowledges the success of last year and how awesome it was to be a part of It, but we are interested in creating our own legacy. Every year we try to acknowledge our success but not be satisfied, we are always hungry for more.”
The 81st annual Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta, presented by Independence Blue Cross, PECO and Coca-Cola will be staged on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 on the historic Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.
Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) is a leader in transdisciplinary, experiential professional education. Jefferson, home of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College and the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, is a comprehensive university delivering high-impact education in 160 undergraduate and graduate programs to 7,800 students in architecture, business, design, engineering, fashion, health, medicine, science and textiles. Jefferson is reimaging the higher education value proposition with an approach that is collaborative and active; increasingly global; integrated with industry; focused on research across disciplines to foster innovation and discovery; and technology-enhanced. Student-athletes compete as the Jefferson Rams in the NCAA Division II Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.