Local prep school rowing team cruises to victory
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The members of Belen Jesuit Prep School's crew team have been accumulating regatta wins and an impressive medal count across the country this year, something they said did not come easily.
"It's taught me how to try to be the best possible," said member Nicolas Fernandez. "You only get as much out of it as you put into this sport. You can't naturally be good at it. You have to work for it."
The grueling work behind the crew team's extended victory laps demands dedication and perfect timing from its 83 members. An oar dropping into the water a second too late could mean the difference between victory and defeat. "It's all about effort and the dedication that the boys need to move the shells as fast as possible," said head coach Yunian Cabrera.
Among the major regattas where the young athletes emerged triumphant were the Miami International Regatta, where the medal count was eight gold, four silver and two bronze. The crew team also cruised to victory at this year's, the world's largest 2-day regatta. "This year we went for the second time to the Head of the Charles," Cabrera said. "We are actually a lightweight program and we entered as a heavyweight team. Out of 85 entries we ended in 31st place."
Many teams stack their boats with heavyweights, dieting to make the cut, but Belen Jesuit does the opposite, pitting their lighter rowers against bigger boats. "Sweating it out for hours on end, three or four hours a day, six days a week," said Booster Club President Dr. Albert Fernandez. "That kind of dedication builds an integrity of character that is hard to find in other sports."
Team members hope to rack up a few more wins. They were in the middle of a big competition this past weekend, racing for gold at the Florida State Sweep Championship Regatta.
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