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Rowers get early start on success

The Augustana Rowing club will be competing in their second regatta of the year this Saturday at the Head of the Mississippi Regatta in Minneapolis, MI.

The club’s president, senior Paige Phelps, said this will be the second regatta they will participate in this year as their regatta last weekend was canceled due to high water levels in Iowa.

Phelps said the focus for her team in the regatta is to do their best on an individual level.

“We don’t focus so much on winning overall, we focus more on the races that we are in,” Phelps said. “I think we have some good boats this year who have the potential to medal. We usually have luck medaling in Minnesota.”

One obstacle facing the club is if the regatta will be held this year as vice president of the rowing club Kirby Stockwell said the regatta might be canceled due to concerns with high water, just as their meet last weekend was canceled.

The team will be participating in different events such as the novice 4’s and men’s and women’s 4’s and 8’s.

The numbers in those events represent the number of people in the boats. The novice section is for the first-year rowers.

The race will be a three-mile row upstream on the Mississippi River between Ford Dam and St. Anthony Falls.

Stockwell said the course is a great one due to how visually appealing it is.

“The Head of the Mississippi (Regatta) is beautiful,”  Stockwell said. (It’s) by far my favorite course that we row at. It’s in the heart of the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities campus.”

Phelps said the club’s members have strong bonds, especially for their 5:30 a.m. practices along the Mississippi River.

“We have a really good team and we are really good friends so getting there early makes it a lot more bearable when we’re all just able to joke around,” Phelps said. “And you get to see really pretty sunrises.”