85th Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta Program Guide

25YEARSAGO Veteran Leadership and Young Talent Propel Owls to Summit By Temple University Athletics The Schuylkill River in Philadelphia has long been a stage for rowing excellence. Every spring, collegiate crews from across North America converge for the Dad Vail Regatta, the largest intercollegiate rowing event in the United States. For Temple University, as with many other schools around the country, Dad Vails hold a special significance. The 1998-99 season for Temple men’s crew wasn’t without its hurdles. Coach Gavin White, known for his ability to mold talented crews, faced a unique challenge. The team boasted a strong core of experienced rowers but integrating new faces and maintaining peak performance throughout a long season proved demanding. “We had a good mix of youth and experience,” recalls Dan McGuinn, who rowed in the fifth seat in the V8+. “There was definitely pressure to keep the winning streak alive, but Coach White did a fantastic job keeping us sharp mentally and physically prepared come Dad Vail.” Preparation was key. The grueling winter training regimen pushed the athletes to their limits. Early mornings spent on the Schuylkill, countless hours honing technique in the boathouse, and intense weight training sessions all laid the groundwork for success. The coaching staff, led by White, meticulously monitored progress, ensuring each rower peaked at the right moment. Throughout the season, the Owls faced stiff competition from local rivals in Drexel and La Salle but remained undefeated into the championship season. “We had a very strong season, an undefeated regular season to include a big win at the Big East Championships, the Murphy and Bergen Cups, as well as sweeping the Head of the Schuylkill,” said future Olympic gold medalist and stroke seat rower, Jason Read. “A year highlight was finishing a program best at Lake Carnegie’s Princeton Chase: third place in the (varsity) eight and second place in the (varsity) four.” As Dad Vail weekend approached, the anticipation in Philadelphia was palpable. Temple crew had a loyal following, and the city buzzed with excitement for the hometown heroes. The Schuylkill transformed into a spectacle, with cheering crowds lining the banks, eager to witness the culmination of months of sweat and dedication. “Dowling College (Long Island) was being pumped up as a rising national program,” said Read. “The river chatter was that Dowling may be a threat to Temple’s longstanding 16-year winning streak.” The 1999 Dad Vail Men’s Varsity Eight final was a nail-biter. Temple, known for their powerful starts, exploded off the line, but several crews stayed neck-andneck throughout the grueling 2,000-meter course. In the final stretch, the Owls found themselves locked in a battle with Saint Joseph’s as the two squads pulled into open water against powerhouses Michigan and Marist. With a final push and a roar from the crowd, Temple pulled away and crossed the finish line in 5:55.20, besting the Hawks by three seconds and once again etched its name onto the Dad Vail trophy. The elation that followed was indescribable. The rowers, exhausted but exhilarated, embraced their coaches and teammates. The years of relentless training, the sacrifices made, all culminated in this singular moment of triumph. The Dad Vail victory wasn’t just about winning a race; it was a validation of their dedication, a testament to the unwavering support system within the team, and a source of immense pride for the Temple University community. Today, the 1999 Dad Vail victory remains a cherished memory for the team members. It’s a story they share with pride, a reminder of the unwavering bond forged through shared struggle and ultimate triumph. The spirit of that win continues to inspire Temple men’s crew, pushing them to strive for excellence on the water and beyond.