As the weather shifts from cold to colder, the Drexel crew teams wind down their season. They have had a successful fall season, finishing near the top in most of their competitions. They dominated their last few regattas, winning the overall point title at the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta and earning six gold and six silver metals in the most recent Frostbite Regatta.
“Overall, we’re really happy with how we did this fall season,” senior coxswain Alex Paulin said.
Last year, the crew team came away with five second-place finishes in the Frostbite Regatta. While five second-place finishes is nothing to scoff at, six gold and six silver medals are some serious hardware. The women’s freshman four and eight, first and second varsity eight, men’s junior varsity eight and freshman eight all captured gold. While the women’s four and third varsity eight, men’s second junior varsity two, first freshman eight, second freshman four and men’s first varsity eight finished with silver.
“The girls in the varsity eight clicked really well, and [it] showed,” Paulin, the coxswain on the women’s varsity eight, said. “We worked hard and had a lot of fun doing it every day, and that makes a difference. We wanted to cap off our fall season on the right note, and for Elizabeth Bratton and I, the seniors on the boat, we really wanted to win our last fall collegiate race.”
Paulin affirmed that because the women’s varsity eight boat couldn’t race the week before at the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta, they used this break as motivation to push themselves that much harder.
“We were bummed out that we couldn’t race at Head of the Schuylkill, so we made up for it with a win at Frostbite this past weekend,” Paulin said.
Director of Rowing Paul Savell was also very proud and satisfied with the way his team as a whole preformed, and he expressed how important it is for them to finish the fall season on a high note.
“Finishing the fall season with the results we had at the Frostbite Regatta was tremendous,” Savell said. Our entire team raced at a high level, and I was proud of their execution of an improvised race plan.”
Although the team had a successful season, coach Savell was pleasantly surprised by some of his rowers. “The sophomores in the women’s varsity eight really stepped up this season,” Savell said. “They worked hard and did a great job — they have inspired everyone to work just a little bit harder. There should be [some] tough competition [to] get in the top boats this spring.”
The crew team will now turn their attention to the spring season and the coveted Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta. Established in 1934, the Dad Vail is arguably one of the most historic and prestigious regattas for college rowing.
“Dad Vails are our focus all year,” Savell said. “We focus on being ‘in the moment’ every race and every practice. We are working to appreciate the process, enjoy the journey and not just the end result.”
The transition from the fall season to the spring season may not be that simple, though. It’s a new season for the Dragons and a level playing field for their competitors.
“You can never really compare the fall to the spring,” Paulin said. “A lot happens over winter training. The boats we rowed in the fall won’t be the exact same boats that [we] row in the spring, and that will be true for all of the other schools we raced as well. We are going to keep working hard every day and come out ready to go in spring and hope that translates to more success.”