GRANITEVILLE — With about double the number of entries this year over last year, the Augusta Invitational Rowing Regatta marked its 29th anniversary on St. Patrick’s Day at Langley Pond in Aiken County.
“We have a lot more junior crews this year,” said Tim Jannik, regatta director. Junior rowers are under the age of 19.
Jannik said about half of the participants represented colleges and the other half was ranked as juniors. About 440 rowers participated in the day-long events at Langley Pond.
Crews came from several states including Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, South Carolina and West Virginia.
The Augusta Invitational Rowing Regatta is one of the early races of the spring season.
Hayley Prescott, a Lakeside High School senior and member of the Augusta Junior Rowing Club, is looking forward to a productive season. With several more races the next few months, she’s hoping to get exposure with college coaches.
So far, Prescott has received two scholarship offers for her rowing skills, but she hasn’t committed to either school yet.
“I want to wait through the spring season to decide,” she said.
She wants to see if any other colleges will step up.
Rowing is a good sport for females seeking athletic scholarships, according to Jannik.
“It’s a bigger sport for women than men. A lot more are giving scholarships to women,” he said. “With Title IX, it’s a good opportunity for them.”
Prescott didn’t get involved with rowing because of college scholarships, but she sees it as a plus.
Because of the opportunities for women, “there is a ton of interest with the women” in the Augusta team, according to Coach Michael Cobb.
However, the men’s side has waned over the past few years.
“The team is dwindling, but maybe people don’t know about it,” said Jonah Magney, an 11th grade home school student.
Magney said he didn’t know about the team until his mom signed him up for the sport. Although he wasn’t a quite willing participant at first, he said he enjoys it now as it gives him a chance to clear his mind.
“It gives me a chance to shut my brain off,” he said. “I’m also part fish so it gives me a chance to be on the water.”