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Peter Mallory's Blog


By pmallory - Posted on 05 May 2014

28 April 2014

Last weekend, I and my son and collaborator, Philip Mallory, took our small squad of seventeen Loyola Marymount University walk-on male athletes, mostly freshmen, no athletic scholarships offered to LMU Men's Crew, to the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships on Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, California. All but one had never even seen a rowing shell before they were first spoken to in their dorm rooms on our campus during their first week in college.

This year the LMU Men entered four events at WIRA. The result was Silver, Silver, Gold, Gold.

Not surprisingly, such an extraordinary performance earned us the WIRA Team Efficiency Trophy, which rewards how effective a team is in coaxing excellence from every single individual . . . and we won this trophy by a country mile! Every LMU oarsman at the regatta earned at least a Silver Medal in 2014. Everyone! Here we are receiving our team trophy: [Sadly, all images have been removed from this blog.]

This team performance mirrors the Mallory coaching philosophy: We invest in everyone! We invest a combined 82 years of experience in our sport. We invest our knowledge and our endless passion. For Philip and me, every single member of our team has untapped potential. Our job is to provide the skills and guidance and then get out of the way.

Eventually, they will take take their experience rowing for LMU and use it in their lives to make the world a better place. That's what we are all about.

Let’s go over our individual 2014 boatings:

Men's Novice Lightweight Four - Silver Medal

Stroke Andy Fronczak 6'1" 160, 3 Harry Husting 6'2" 145, 2 Brandon Blau 6'0" 160, Bow Adrian Rodriguez 5'9" 145, Coxswain Parker House 5'2", all freshmen. This photo was taken right after they received their Silver Medals. They look . . . well . . . disappointed . . .

I'm not. They rowed their hearts out with great courage and determination . . . and a part of me is very pleased that this year and forever they and their LMU teammates will never be satisfied with anything less than a league championship. Eight months after these particular young athletes were first approached in their dorms about the sport of rowing, they already share with their family of teammates and coaches a burning hunger for greatness.

Men's Novice Four - Silver Medal

Coxswain Pia Sumineg 5'2", Bow Paul Gagorik 6'1" 175. 2 Garett Gross 6'6" 225, 3 Bradley Kritzer 6'1" 190, Stroke Cody Warrington 6'3" 180, all freshmen. Fun fact: To conform to the rules, Pia carries extra weight equal to half her body mass, a new record for the regatta. I'll let you do the math.

This race was hard for our team psychologically. We were the defending champions in this event. This year we had a stirring battle down the course with Western Washington, and we made them earn their Gold!

And so now we have family up north . . .

. . . and I expect to see a spirited sibling rivalry that will last four years.

Men's Varsity Pair - Gold Medal

Bow Trevor Felix 6'6" 190, Stroke Trent Benson 6'3" 180. Both sophomores, Trent first sat in a boat exactly 15 months ago, Trevor 19. Imagine what they will do once they get some experience in our hallowed sport! Last year they were in the 2013 WIRA Champion Men's Novice Four. In the last two years, neither of these rowers has lost a race, heat or final, at our league championship regatta.

Our team goal is to encourage and support our athletes to progress as far in our sport as they are capable of going, which for our best surely includes international competition. This summer Trevor will row on fabled Boathouse Row in Philadelphia for the Under-23 Men's Team at PennAC, one of the most storied clubs in American and World Rowing history. This is a tremendous step for the LMU Men's Crew . . . but it is not unprecedented. Trevor Felix will be retracing the footsteps of several Loyola oarsmen half a century ago whose aspirations also took them to Philadelphia. One of them, Hugh Foley, ended up a member of the 1964 Olympic Champion U.S. Men's Eight, and we continue to bask in his reflected glory.

But no pressure, Trevor!

Man's Varsity Four - Gold Medal

Coxswain Nina Lepp 5'8", Bow Quin Thames 6'4" 175, 2 Mike Morehart 6'2" 190, 3 Cameron Heath 6'5" 210, Stroke Brendan Henderson 6'0" 175.

Nina is the only member on the entire LMU Men's Crew at Lake Natoma in 2014 with any high school experience in our sport. Nina and Cameron are both sophomores, both also undefeated at WIRA, both also members of the WIRA-Champion 2013 Novice Four . . . and Cameron Heath will join Trevor on the PennAC U23 Men's Team this summer!

Hooray!

Quin, Mike and Brendan are seniors, and they have been knocking at the door for what I'm sure has seemed to them like forever. They were third in this event as sophomores and fourth last year. It was both a relief and extremely satisfying for them to finally win their league championship in almost their last collegiate race!

But it won't be their last after all because we are sending the LMU Men's Varsity Coxed-Four to the IRA National Championships on Mercer Lake in New Jersey in five weeks time!

Hooray!

For the LMU Men's Crew, last weekend was a completely natural progression beyond last year when we produced a first, third, fourth and fifth just three months after I became men's coach. Now after 15 months, there are TWO Mallorys coaching instead of one. Philip retired as a Naval officer just seven weeks ago, drove directly across the country from Norfolk, Virginia to Los Angeles, rolled up his sleeves and jumped right into an LMU Coach's launch an hour later. The result is first, first, second, second!

Hooray!

I'm sure those of my readers who are parents can just imagine how very special it is for me to share with my son the experience of trying SO hard to make a difference in the world by making a difference in the lives of the members of our team.

Here are Philip and I straining to hear the announcer on the PA system and scanning the horizon for an approaching race. As we stare into the future, we see results piling up and experienced prospects beginning to trickle in.

Imagine what we will be able to accomplish with a few recruits!