By Xavier Aninton
A new collaboration between WAVE Magazine and student-led campus publications, including The Navigator and The Aquarian, WAVE+ features articles written by and about Jacksonville University students.
It was three years ago when an exodus of students left men’s rowing on the brink of extinction.
The team has made a resurgence, adding 22 new athletes along with three new coaches including Head Coach Jason Cottingham and assistant coaches Preston Weinard and Christian Wiles-Lafayette.
Today’s rowing team boasts the highest GPA in the programs history, with an average of 3.252, with 11 athletes being recognized on the Dean’s List and two being awarded the President’s List.
Junior Igor Milosevic, a member of the rowing team, recalls the team’s effort.
“As a freshman our team’s GPA was very low, around 2.5, but when coach Cottingham came in, he had us focus more on academics, and with a lot hard work and persistent effort we managed to get our GPA above 3.0 and now it is at 3.2 and we have set our next goal of 3.3,” said Milosevic.
Junior Joel Harden, a member of the rowing team who was one of the two athletes named to the Presidents List, believes that it wasn’t just certain individuals making great efforts to get the teams GPA to where it is, but that it was a collective team effort.
“Making the President’s List isn’t something that just happens,” said Harden. “It was a goal I set that I had I work for every day. I’m just a small part of the overall team, but that was the team’s overall outlook—one main, seemingly unachievable, difficult goal, and working hard every day to make strides to get there. It wasn’t me making President’s List that pushed the GPA that high. It was a team that was willing to buckle down and just do the work day in and day out.”
Assistant Coach Preston Weinard, former rower here at Jacksonville University, was extremely elated with the team’s resurgence and their GPA milestone this past semester.
“I think the main difference between this team’s effort in the classroom versus previous teams is all about focus,” said Weinard. “Our team’s focus on their studies was steadfast this past semester and it showed. This year it has come down to the athletes remaining focused and dedicated to their studies. That has made the difference.”
The Men’s Rowing team doesn’t plan on letting their foot off the pedal even after such an amazing milestone. They hope to be successful both on and off the water this semester as they take on Embry Riddle March 9, at the Negaard Rowing Center here on campus.
Join the Men’s and Women’s Rowing teams Thurs., Feb. 28 for the Row Across Florida Challenge. For more details about the event or JU’s iconic rowing programs, visit www.judolphins.com/sports/mrowing.
Dolphin Media is the student news site of Jacksonville University featuring all the latest news and student polls from The Navigator, a student-centric on-campus publication serving JU since 1957, and from Dolphin Radio and the Dolphin Channel. Students may visit Dolphin Media online to submit articles or photography. For additional comments or questions, contact The Navigator staff.