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Perseverance Pays Off for Florida Institute of Technology At Dad Vail Regatta
By Ed Levin 
Director of Publicity 
Dad Vail Regatta 
Philadelphia, PA, (April 11, 2016) - In 2013 and 2014, The Florida Institute of Technology (also known as Florida Tech) men’s varsity heavyweight crew arrived in Philadelphia at the Dad Vail Regatta as a heavy favorite to claim a coveted gold medal. 
Both years saw each of those teams come agonizingly close only to leave with a third-place finish in 2013 and a second-place finish in 2014. When the Panthers advanced to the final in 2015, their hope was to erase the demons of the past. 
With 500 meters remaining in the 2,000-meter race, it appeared as if the University of Michigan would once again get the best of F.I.T. All of sudden, the Panthers dug down and found a second gear to come from behind and exact revenge on the same team that had edged them the previous year to capture its first gold medal since 1988. 
“It was a big day for our university, our program and especially the guys in the boat,” said head coach Jim Granger, referring to the win by the Men’s Varsity Heavyweight Eight. “Those young men get to carry that memory with them the rest of their lives.” 
“A number of those guys in last year’s boat had medaled in the past and were in the same situation the previous year and were not able to get through Michigan,” said Granger, referring to his team trailing late in the 2015 race. “I think pride in themselves and a stubbornness about holding onto their perfect season at that point were the catalysts that allowed them to overcome the deficit in the final strokes.” 
Junior Kevin Coyle, who sat in the bow seat for last year’s Varsity Heavyweight Eight added, “Winning the race last spring was an unexpected goal. Going into the race I was focused on training and preparing for the IRA that was quickly approaching, but when I realized that we had the potential to win the Dad Vail Regatta my focus changed drastically. When we found out that we won the race the feeling that washed over me was one of validation. To have all the hard work that was put in for months before the regatta come to fruition was euphoric.” 
When Florida Tech makes its annual pilgrimage to Philadelphia, they will enter the 78th annual Dad Vail Regatta presented by The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University on Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14 with a target on their back as the defending champion in the Men’s Varsity Heavyweight Eight. 
As defending champs of the Dad Vail Heavyweight Eight, the Panthers realize hard work and proper preparation are essential if they wish to retain their crown. 
As they continue to build for one of the highlight races on the spring schedule, Coyle reminds the younger rowers, “To always keep in mind that the level of work you put in today is the level of performance you'll have tomorrow.” 
With hopes riding high of repeating as the Varsity Heavyweight Eight gold medal winners, the Panthers will return with some experience but as Granger acknowledges, “ they are being challenged on a daily basis by our strongest freshmen class to date.”  
About Jefferson  
Our newly formed organization, Jefferson, encompasses Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, representing our academic and clinical entities. Together, the people of Jefferson, 19,000 strong, provide the highest-quality, compassionate clinical care for patients, educate the health professionals of tomorrow, and discover new treatments and therapies that will define the future of health care.  
Jefferson Health comprises five hospitals, 17 outpatient and urgent care locations, as well as physician practices and everywhere we deliver care throughout the city and suburbs across Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks Counties in Pa., and Camden County in New Jersey. Together, these facilities serve nearly 73,000 inpatients, 239,000 emergency patients and 1.7 million outpatient visits annually. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital is the largest freestanding academic medical center in Philadelphia. Abington Hospital is the largest community teaching hospital in Montgomery or Bucks counties. Other hospitals include Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience in Center City Philadelphia; Methodist Hospital in South Philadelphia; and Abington-Lansdale Hospital in Hatfield Township.  
Thomas Jefferson University enrolls more than 3,800 future physicians, scientists, nurses and healthcare professionals in the Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC), Jefferson Colleges of Biomedical Sciences, Health Professions, Nursing, Pharmacy, Population Health and is home of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. 
For more information and a complete listing of Jefferson services and locations, visit 

Content reviewed and published: 5/10/2016 7:59:21 AM
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