Maryland Men’s Crew was founded in 1999 and has upheld incredible standards of athleticism and dedication ever since. Recent years have been particularly successful: In just the last year our varsity 4 has competed at the ultra-competitive 2014 Head of the Charles, won silver at the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference Championships and at the 2013 Head of the Ohio, and gold at the 2013 Philadelphia Frostbite Regatta. Our novices have seen similar success, winning silver at the 2013 Head of the Schuylkill. Last year we recruited a reasonably sized novice class of about 16 members, but our retention so far this year has been unprecedented at over 30 highly involved novice oarsmen. With these new faces we hope to continue a tradition of competitiveness in both our heavyweight and our lightweight programs, the latter a new addition this year.
Our boathouse is located in Bladensburg, Maryland, on the Anacostia River. We row out of the Bladensburg Waterfront Park with several other collegiate, masters, and high school programs. The park is located at the top of the Anacostia River, and our practice route traverses the river’s narrowest (and most scenic) points. It’s a rare day that we don’t row alongside Great Blue Herons, White-Tailed Deer, North American Beavers, and even the occasional Bald Eagle. Our practice route typically ends past the East Capitol Street Bridge, well into the District of Columbia. Due to the relative narrowness of the river and the abundance of trees, Maryland Rowing enjoys incredibly flat water on a daily basis. We have a clear 7,500m course downstream until we reach the Anacostia Community Boathouse.
Cole Field House
Once home to the Maryland Men’s Basketball team, our erging facility is located inside Cole Field House. The former team room has been converted to hold 20 stationary rowing machines, as well as a separate studio for yoga and circuit work, shower facilities, and locker space. The erg room is also home to our record board, listing the top scores on pieces of various lengths recorded throughout the team’s history. Although the space has gotten a little small for our growing team’s needs, in the coming year we hope to add several more ergs and expand into other areas of Cole Field House as our winter training schedule gets underway.
Maryland Crew was founded in the Fall of 1999. Originally a coed team, Emmie C. Helms (later King), a junior at the time, was rowing at Thompsons Boat Center with a few other Maryland undergrads, and they decided to join together and start a Maryland team. By October the proper paperwork had been submitted and the team officially existed; the team found their first coach, Frank Benson from Occoquan Boat Club; Benson’s friend Tony Johnson who was the head coach of Georgetown, allowed UMD to borrow GU equipment. The first practice would held on 26 Nov. 1999. In the Spring of 2000, Benson’s friend on the Anacostia Watershed Society, Jim Conolly, suggested the team move to ACBA and allowed them to use Capital Rowing equipment. It was that Spring that the team com- peted in their first two races: Capital Classic and the Mid Atlantic Collegiate Crew Championships (discontinued as of 2013).
Frank Benson departed for a full paying position at Georgetown in late 2000. As he was the main opponent of separate men’s and women’s teams, his departure lead to the splitting of the team in 2000. In 2001 Alex Papanicolaou, then president, recruited Dr. Doug Lewis to be the team’s faculty adviser.