JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University women's rowing announced its 2018 spring schedule Monday, which features seven events leading up the MACC Championship in May.
"I think we have built a very competitive schedule. Racing teams like UCF, Alabama, as well as Marist will both help us to grow and become faster, but also challenge ourselves to go above and beyond of what the athletes thought we were capable of," said Head Coach Mike Lane.
The team will have three more rowing opportunities than last year, something that Coach Lane is very excited about.
"Racing more is always a great thing! The more we race the more we learn about ourselves and what we need to work on," said Lane.
"The majority of the new racing opportunities will benefit our developmental group, meaning our freshman and new rowers. This is great not only for them, but for the development of our program long term."
The spring will start in Orlando, Fla. on March 16 with a competition versus host UCF and UConn, before things ramp up the following week in Tuscaloosa, Ala. at the two-day Crimson Tide Invite. The month concludes with a home event vs. Stetson, which will also serve as Senior Day.
"One of my top priorities this spring was getting a home race scheduled. Although our water is not as predictable as most, we feel strongly that we will be able to host a great event with Stetson," said Lane.
"Not to mention honoring our seniors who have given so much to JU is very important to me. These seniors have never lost a MAAC Championship and that is a very powerful legacy to celebrate."
April kicks off with the FIRA Sunshine State Championships in Sarasota, Fla., before the team divvies up, with the NCAA squad headed to the Cherry Hill Invite in New Jersey and the rest of the squad competing in the SIRA Championships in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
"We will take our top 23 athletes to the Cherry Hill Invite which is hugely important for that group. We will also be racing Marist, our prime competition in our conference. What we learn at that race will have a very important impact in terms of how we approach our MAAC Championship," said Lane.
"We will send our younger athletes, Novice and lower varsity boats, to the SIRA regatta, so they as well will learn a lot which will help set them up to be better oarswomen for the following year."
It all builds up to May, which starts with the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia and rolls right into the MAAC Championship back in Cherry Hill, N.J. a day later. JU will be going for its fifth consecutive conference title in hopes of yet another NCAA Championship appearance, which runs from May 25-27 in Sarasota, Fla.