Thursday, May 15, 2008

North Central PA Univ. arrives one week late for Dad Vail

The North Central Pennsylvania University men's and women's crew teams stood on the sidewalk this morning in absolute shock. After stepping off the bus from a 5-hour drive, Hotel Liberty Freedom employees informed the school that they were one week late for the for the Dad Vail Regatta, nation's largest collegiate rowing competition. Again.

"It's my fault. It's embarrassing because this is the second year in a row that this has happened," said men's coach, Steve Sherman. "All the training and practicing... down the drain."

The school, based in Wellsboro, PA, only began its rowing program five years ago after dropping football and auto racing. The team also has arguably the most pristine training site in the state-Pine Creek Gorge. Also known as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.

School budget constraints limit the team to one race per season, which is the Dad Vail in Philadelphia. "We've trained all of May for this race and now...wammo," said coxswain, Garth Meddows. Meddows sets the pace for rower Tim Hatreal making the school first and only in the country to use a coxswain for a one-man scull.

"It's sad because we promised that 25% of our winnings would be donated to Wellsboro-area charities," said Sherman.

The Schuylkill River Rangers permitted NCPU to row the course one time this afternoon in recognition of their efforts to arrive in Philadelphia. Afterwards the team posed for pictures around the the John Kelly statue near the river's grandstands.

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