Rowing is a demanding sport. The highschoolers competing at the annual Mercyhurst Prep Invitational Regatta, know that very well. These teams are competing against one another, some for the final time this season. Head coach Dave Geiger says that his team does a lot of training on Presque Isle Bay. “For us, a lot of early mornings out on the bay practicing. And especially after a Spring like we’ve had it’s good to have some decent weather and get some good water time in,” Geiger said.
For as physical as this sport is, it takes a lot of mental strength as well. Alex Nestor is the Team Captain for the Mercyhurst Prep rowing team. He says “It’s a lot more mental than physical as you’d think. Especially with all the technicallities it takes to win a race. It’s not all just power.” Maria O’Matz of the Mount Lebanon rowing team adds, “It’s really mentally demanding for every single rower in the boat but just as stroke seat, myself, trying to stay in tune, keeping a good rhythm for the girls behind me is a pretty hard task.” She says her mom is the one that got her into rowing. “My mom rowed for University of Pittsburgh whenever she was there. She was one of the first emmbers of their team. So she really got me interested in the sport,” she says.
When we spoke with Nestor he hadn’t competed yet. but he tells us he was excited. “There’s definately a home field advantage here. I feel like our hopes are a lot higher for our races and I feel like we always do better here than we would at a lot of other regattas.”