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Competition is Heating Up

Competition is Heating Up

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Coming off a strong outing last weekend, the University of Miami rowing team is back on the water to compete in the Sunshine State Invite in Sarasota, Fla. During the two-day event, the Canes will face off with six different teams, including Atlantic Coast Conference foe Clemson, beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

“It will be great to race against more boats and to have some ACC teams there with us to see where we stack up and what we need to work on before the [ACC Championship],” sophomore Meredith Costello said.

In their first regatta of the season, the Canes picked up first-place finishes in four of their five races, paced by the 1v4, which finished its race a full 23 seconds ahead of second-place finisher, Jacksonville. For Costello and the other members of the 1v4, two of whom are freshmen, it was their first ever official race as a group.

“We have some really fast freshmen and they have a lot of experience from high school,” Costello said. “I’m proud of them for jumping in and racing well. We have a really great dynamic within our boat and I enjoy racing with them.”

Winning four of the five events last time out was a great start to the season, but even more than that, Miami was able to get a weekend of competition on the books.

“Nothing replicates a competition against other boats, especially at a different location,” head coach Dave Sanderson said. “Having a race under our belt is important for the rest of our season.”

For the rowers, seeing results like they did last weekend serves as motivation for the next eight weeks of racing leading up to the ACC Championship. But before they set their sights on Lake Hartwell and the conference championship, the Canes must focus on the race ahead.

“We just have to show up ready to execute what we’ve been practicing,” Costello said. “Rowing is a sport where you really can’t change what other teams and other boats are going to do. You can only focus internally on how you are going to make your boat faster. We have to focus on us and not get rattled if the race is more competitive than what we’ve been seeing.”

Among the six teams that the Canes will face is a trio of power five schools in Clemson, Kansas and Kansas State, familiar foes Stetson and Jacksonville and future opponent UCF. Despite the stiff competition, the Canes are ready to take the water on Friday.

“We always give each other high fives in the boats to remind us that we’re not out there alone,” Costello said. “I’ve got four other people in the boat with me and we are in it together. It’s very exciting and great to be back racing.”