Rowing at UMW

In 10 varsity seasons after a lengthy tenure as a club sport, the rowing program at the University of Mary Washington has become one of the top programs in the nation. Each season brings new heights to the program, which saw the women’s varsity eight advance to the NCAA Championships for the first time in the Spring of 2007. The team placed seventh in the nation. 

The women received their sixth consecutive national ranking in this spring, with the sixth straight season yielding an All-American. 

Hopes for 2009-2010 are even higher for new head coach Richard Wilson, who inherits a large number of varsity rowers in addition to upcoming novices and a strong recruiting class. 

Rowing at the University of Mary Washington can provide a competitive, athletic opportunity for any individual, regardless of previous rowing experience. In fact, some of the best rowers in UMW’s history did not take a stroke until arriving in Fredericksburg. This makes rowing a very popular collegiate sport, and that is no different at Mary Washington. As a rower at UMW, you will learn the fundamentals of rowing as a novice and have the opportunity to compete on the varsity level as well. 

Rowing provides challenges for any athlete, with opportunities to compete against some of the top teams in the nation. It is also a year-round experience at UMW, with crews rowing at Hope Springs Marina in both the fall and spring semesters. Training emphasizes individual technique and team rowing with others in the boat. 

While much of the winter months are spent training indoors, a spring break training trip to Georgia provides the team an opportunity to show the fruition of their hard work on the water. The trip is followed by a challenging racing schedule that includes some of the top regattas in the nation: the ECAC National Invitational in Worcester, Mass.; the Knecht Cup on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J.; the NCAA Championships for women; and the IRA National Championships for men in late May. 

The benefits of rowing are numerous. While the training is strenuous, UMW rowers have the satisfaction of being in the best condition of their lives. The rewards of this hard work include increased self esteem and a great sense of accomplishment. 

Being a UMW rower and training with fellow student-athletes builds respect, cooperation, and trust among teammates - traits that predictably make crews successful. Everyone is invited to join the program, especially those with a strong work ethic, a positive attitude, and a desire to be an intercollegiate athlete. As much time and energy is utilized training on and off the water during the course of the academic year, successful UMW rowers must be highly committed to the sport. 

A fitness center complete with state-of-the-art equipment opened in 2004, to complement the weight training room already housed in Goolrick Gymnasium. The facility houses free weights, Nautilus equipment, and a championship swimming pool. The UMW training staff leads a dedicated group of student trainers who provide services for all 23 UMW varsity sports, including strength and conditioning programs, rehabilitation of injuries, and on-site assistance. 

Like all athletes at UMW, rowers are responsible for attaining the highest standard in athletics and academics. Rowers may have varying degrees of experience, however, responsible, hard working athletes will continue to drive the success of UMW women’s rowing.