Rowing set for an exciting 2022 season

PHILADELPHIA — Temple’s women’s rowing team will open the 2022 racing season on March 12 with a scrimmage at Rutgers. After nearly seven months of racing and training, the Owls are excited to see what spring has in store for them. With high goals and high expectations, the Temple team confidently enters the spring season.

“We have a very competitive racing schedule this season,” said the head coach Rebecca Grzybowski. “It’s really exciting for us to be able to test our speed against teams that have competed at the highest level. We’re racing against teams that went to the NCAAs and against teams that are historically very strong, and some of them in our own conference are great too.”

Temple’s recruiting efforts have produced top-notch student athletes for several years, but the Owls’ current freshman class is one of their best. Their speed and energy propel the team to new heights.

“The whole team was really great and it was fun to see the newcomers really step up this year,” said Grzybowski. “They’re a slightly smaller group in terms of class size, but they were very impactful and really committed to growth, and it was contagious. People are watching and seeing them progress and they have inspired the older women on the team. I’m expecting some breakout seasons from the freshmen and they’re definitely fighting for all of our NCAA boats. It will be fun to watch their progress and see them gain a lot of confidence. To see her energy really translate to the rest of the team is fun!”

To better transfer erg speeds to the water, Temple changed part of his training schedule this year and focused on a metric approach. This metrics-based approach will let Temple know how fast they need to move in practice to be competitive in the spring.

“Everyone is on the same page with the effort this year and the dots are starting to connect not just between the effort but the results by showing up every day and hitting the splits that you have to hit,” said Grzybowski. “We took a slightly more metrics-based approach this year and the team really responded to that. We set team goals in the erg space and it was fun to tick them off and celebrate. It feels like a really cool collective team effort mentally and training wise this year.”

leadership group

The Leading Group – Seniors Aarohi Patel and Morgan Simpsonjuniors Maddie Hillis and Emma Berryand sophomore year Giselle Kiriacos will lead Temple’s squad this season.

“We restructured our leadership within the team this year,” said Grzybowski. “Maddie is the captain and she has great leadership around her that supports her in certain areas. Together they are all doing a really great job in tackling the emotional, physical and academic challenges and they have done a truly fantastic job and deserve a lot of recognition!”

The owls have chosen Patel and Simpson to lead the unit. They care about the well-being of the team by keeping everyone together and in harmony.

“I’m so excited to get back to a full-intensity racing schedule,” said Patel. “We haven’t had a normal racing schedule in two years and I’m really excited to be racing at other schools outside of Philly. As a senior on the team, it’s really exciting to see the majority of the team experience their first true college level spring season. It’s exciting to watch everyone and see how eager the team is to race. The commitment this year has been incredible and it feels special overall. I’m really excited to see how the spring season unfolds.”

“We’ve made a lot of new changes in the way we train this year,” said Simpson. “We now train more split base at steady state and use sliders more in erg space. I’m really excited to see how our new approach to training plays out on the water and how much faster we’ll be.”

The Owls chose Kiriacos as the athletic lead. Kiriacos has the responsibility to ensure that the team achieves sporting goals. She helps prepare the team for the athletic side of training.

“I would say this year feels a lot more coherent, especially in terms of our goals,” said Kiriacos. “People work quietly and everyone works hard. I noticed a collective positivity from everyone.”

Berry is the organizational leader of the team. She oversees the team structure, making sure people are where they need to be and keeping everyone informed.

“This year we have the opportunity to compete against very competitive programs,” said Berry. “Riding ranked teams is a great opportunity for us to get an insight into where we stand. We want to be consistent across the board so we can be more confident towards the end of the season.”

The Owls selected Hillis to be the team captain. Hillis towers over the leading group.

“We all agree with what was asked of us in terms of our performance this year,” said Hillis. “Our main goal this year is to win a conference championship and to get there we need to accomplish small goals along the way. I see people pushing themselves and just really willing to work a little bit harder to get the goals, so that was really good and exciting to watch.”


Temple’s fall tune-up season was short but successful, as new Owls got in the water for the first time and the veterans got to hone their skills. Three Head Racing events, including the famous Head of the Charles Regatta, have competed with the team taking two medals and a host of top 10 finishes.

Now, after a long winter of indoor training, the Owls are back on the water and ready to test their new speeds against a national-caliber schedule. Temple will only be on the Schuylkill for three races this season but the Owls have found top competition up and down the coast.

Temple kicks off the season with a scrimmage against Rutgers on Saturday, March 12 in New Brunswick, NJ

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