OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (April 22, 2018) – The Rollins men's rowing team entered just one event at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Regatta and made the most of it, winning gold in the Novice 4.
Due to the size of the event and to make sure every crew is seeded correctly, the regatta has time trials to start each event. The boats race "head race" style over 1750-meters to see each crew's speed. From there, boats are placed into semi-final races and the progression goes on from there.
For their time trial, Rollins posted the third fastest time behind North Carolina and Emory with just two seconds separating the crews. The semifinals were run in the normal sprint format and Rollins opened a lead by the 500-meter mark and never looked back. The team was able to keep some of their race plan in their back pocket for the grand finals on Sunday by cruising to a 12-second victory in the semifinals.
"You never know how much teams are holding back in the semis" Tars head coach Shawn Pistor said. "We were feeling good, but I also make sure our team respects everyone going into the finals."
Sunday morning came and the weather and water could not have been better. The Novice 4 sat poised and ready as the starter dropped the flag. The crews were off and Rollins pushed their bow ball ahead of the pack. This was a different story than the semis just 12 hours prior. Through the 500-meter mark, Rollins was ahead, but not by much. The race was shaping up to be the wire-to-wire race it was expected to be. Rollins held their two-seat lead through the 1000-meter mark where Emory made a push at the Tars. Emory was able eat up one seat, but Rollins would not give up any more than that. As the crews crossed the 1500-meter, an announcer on the live-stream video said, "This is going to be a race to the finish," but the Tars had different plans.
The Tars put on a sprint similar to the one the Tars crossed the line, they had a seat of open water on Emory winning by 3.5 seconds.
The announcer quipped the crews crossed the line was, "I guess I was wrong."
The next event for the Rollins Men will be Dad Vails in Philadelphia on May 11th and 12th. The men are looking forward to the 3 weeks of training while at the same time finishing up the semester, papers and exams.