The Butler rowing team is preparing for its first meet of the season at the Speakmon Regatta in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 12.
The team came back on campus in fall of 2011 after a several- year hiatus.
Senior Mike Rozzo and 2012 graduate Luke Crimmins, helped reestablish the club, though they’re not sure exactly how long the club’s hiatus was.
“Neither of us had any experience rowing or even knew that much about it,” Rozzo said. “We met a Butler administrator who had rowed at Purdue and was the coach of the old club team. He seemed pretty interested in it, and we were interested in trying it out.”
This fall, the team has approximately 30 members and competes at the men’s, women’s and novice (mixed) levels.
The team is officially a student organization, not a club sport.
Sophomore Morgan Blake, a member of the team’s fundraising board, said the club depends on a lot of fundraising to stay afloat. One of its biggest fundraising efforts is “Rent-A-Rower,” Blake said.
With “Rent-A-Rower,” community members can hire members of the rowing team to do chores and services around the Indianapolis area. All the money received through this program goes directly to the team’s account.
Team members also pay yearly dues to the club that help fund the program.
Club president Izzie Rosich said rowing is a fairly expensive sport, but the team is doing well financially.
“We have enough for what we’re doing, but compared to other schools, we have a small budget,” Rosich said. “But for us to have that status as an organization, not even a club sport, we’re pretty set.”
Blake said there are a few members of the team who rowed before college, but the vast majority of them picked it up after coming to Butler.
“I’ve only been rowing for about a year,” Blake said. “I heard about it from friends in high school and saw the club’s table at Block Party, and I signed up from there. [Rowing] is my absolute favorite thing. My best friends are on the rowing team.”
Rosich also joined after coming to college.
“I started right when it came back on campus,” Rosich said. “I just wanted to try it because I knew I wouldn’t be the only one doing it for the first time. I thought it would be fun, and I fell in love with it.”
The team practices off campus at Eagle Creek Park, as there is nowhere to do so at Butler.
Between driving to and from practice and being on the lake and at meets, Rozzo said the team is pretty close,
“We almost spend more time together each week than we do at class,” Rozzo said. “It’s a great time, though.”
Last year, the team had many races cancelled due to weather, but did take home first and second place in one of the men’s races. The men also took second place in another. The women’s team took home third place in one race.
The Speakmon Regatta was a success for the Bulldogs the last time they were there in 2011. Both the men’s and women’s squads took home first place.
Rozzo said the team hopes to have the same success at the Speakmon Regatta it has had in the past.
“I think we’re definitely prepared,” Rozzo said. “We have a pretty good tradition of being able to compete with some pretty big-name teams.”