The MAAC Champions will compete with three boats at the famous Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia this weekend, the largest college regatta in the nation.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville University women’s rowing team is two weeks removed from its first conference title at the MAAC Championships. With the NCAA Championships forthcoming at the end of May, the Dolphins will have one last chance to build their resume this weekend at the famous Dad Vail Regatta on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. Preliminary races for JU in the varsity fours, varsity eights and junior varsity eights begin on Friday.
“This is an important race for us as we prepare for the upcoming NCAA Championships,” said Head Coach Jim Mitchell. “This regatta gives us a chance to face a lot of teams we haven’t seen before, but we know they’re fast. If we race to our fullest potential, then that’s another step forward for us.
Started in 1934, the Dad Vail Regatta has been an annual fixture in Philadelphia for nearly that entire length of time. The event has grown throughout the years and now attracts well over 100 schools from across the country, making it the largest college regatta in the nation. JU’s varsity fours have drawn a preliminary heat with Delaware, Drake, Lafayette, Lehigh and UMass. The varsity eights will be up against Cleveland State, Duquesne, Fairfield and La Salle. Late in the day, the junior varsity eights face Colgate, Grand Valley State, La Salle, UConn and UMass.
“What makes this race a big deal for us is that there’s a lot of history and tradition,” continued Mitchell. “JU has had a lot of boats win over the years and there’s a lot of fanfare at this event. A lot of the rowers we have on our team come from this area as well, so it’s a chance for them to get home and race in front of family and friends.”
Any Jacksonville teams that advance will compete in the finals on Saturday.
Following this weekend, Jacksonville will start to build towards its year-end races at the NCAA Championships, held in Indianapolis on May 30.