McElroy's father, Rod, was in Saratoga Springs as the coach of St. John's.
"The objective was to get [to nationals] so the lads could have that experience," Rod McElroy said."We said, 'Hey, we're going to be there, and we're going to bust it and see what happens.' And we busted it, and by golly, it happened."Rod formerly shared coaching duties at St. John's with Neil, an assistant.
"The object of crew is not to torture," said St. John's crew coach Rod McElroy.
McElroy said the TMRC is an affiliate of the Toledo Rowing Club, a local organization located on Main Street in East Toledo.
McElroy said boats from both the TMRC and the other schools practice along the same stretch of the Maumee nearly every day after school beginning in late March or early April."We don't necessarily train together," McElroy said.
St. John's Jesuit High School crew coach Rod McElroy said his team's goal is to "bring home the hardware."The Titans eight-man heavyweight team did plenty of that this fall season.
St. John's won three gold medals and two silvers in six races.But the Titans' biggest accomplishment came in late October when they actually didn't win a medal.Competing against 52 other high school and freshmen college teams at the Head of the Charles race in Boston, St. John's took fifth place.
"The competition there is fantastic," McElroy said of the event that attracts over 7,000 teams from around the world."But I thought we had the horses [to win it]."We've had a lot of success.We refer to it as bringing home the hardware.We've had a lot of gold and silver medals.But this one [Head of the Charles] has eluded us."
McElroy said his team could have finished second if a slower boat that got in his boat's way would have gotten out of the way as dictated by the rules."The slower crew is obliged to get out of the way of the crew overtaking you," he said."That boat wouldn't get out of the way.We had to take the outside instead of inside to pass and that took a lot of time."He also said technically his team took third place in the high school division because two of the "high school" teams from England have rowers who are in the 13th grade.The St. John's crew program was started in 1986 and McElroy took over in 1990.The team consistently brings home medals, he said.At the prep level, crew is in the spring and fall.The spring season features sprint events of 1,500 to 2,000 meters with six boats side-by-side.The fall season consists of head-to-head races between 2 1/2 to 3 miles.It's a race against the clock with boats launched every 10 to 20 seconds."The idea is to try to catch the boat in front of you and not get caught from behind," McElroy said.He said on a three mile course a time just under 16 minutes is very good.He said his team posted that time earlier in the season and would have won the Head of the Charles with that time.St. John's won events in Cleveland, Cincinnati and at the Toledo Frogstown Races.The Titans took second in Dayton and Pittsburgh.He said the team practices five days a week on the Maumee River during the season.McElroy said the coxswain is the most important position on the boat.The coxswain steers the boat with a small rudder and by directing the rowers how hard to row."The coxswain is the mouthy little bugger who sits in the stern," McElroy said."He's the coach on the boat."The Titan's coxswain this season was John Harris IV.The senior from Holland is in his second year as the team's "captain.""He's a very heady young man," McElroy said.He's a good coxswain.He's a bright young man who knows his craft.He's a real student of rowing."Here is a look at the other eight members of the Titans' heavyweight team with their home towns and some comments from McElroy:t Senior Tim Mambort (Sylvania): "He is being courted by Harvard and Princeton.He is the first rower from St. John's to be picked for the Junior National team.He is a very strong rower."t Senior David Barone (Maumee): "He is second on the boat."
"One of the neatest things about the club's high school program is that more and more former rowers are coming down and helping out," says St. John's coach Rod McElroy.
St. John's lost five seniors last year and picked up 11 novices this fall, including one senior.That leaves McElroy with 37 rowers on the water this fall."That's down a little from last year; usually we have closer to 50," he said."But it's good news for people who aren't already in the first boat, because it gives them a better chance of getting there."The Notre Dame crew that racked up six gold medals and five silver in its spring season will be a hard act to follow.
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