The boys had the first sense of their potential speed the previous fall when they finished third over the three-mile courses of both the Head of the Connecticut and the prestigious Head of the Charles regattas. The fall season ended in November with a 1500-meter sprint race, the Frostbite Regatta, in which the boys placed second.
During the winter, the team headed to Princeton on Sundays to improve their technique in the university’s indoor rowing tanks. Leading into spring, nine boys and three coxswains endured twice-daily practices in snow and arctic conditions. The torturous workouts paid dividends as the boys collected every medal and trophy in their weight class throughout the spring.
“We were not your prototypical athletes,” said Murray. “We were a scrappy bunch that prided ourselves on hard work, dedication and the belief our discipline would pay off.” Coach Tim Giordano described the crew as a “unique collection of individuals who really clicked as a team,” skateboarder and surfer types who were “like ballet on water.”
Dedication was a requirement during the first few years of the program. Every day, the team loaded heavy wooden boats and oars onto a trailer at Peddie and drove to Mercer Lake for practice. Then, Finn Caspersen ’59, board chair and former rower himself, donated a storage trailer, coaching launch, and three coxed fours to be kept at Mercer Lake for the boys’ and girls’ teams to share. True to rowing tradition, Peddie named one of the shells the “Finn M.W. Caspersen ’59,” in honor of Caspersen. It was in this shell that the boys had their historic success.
With grit and determination, the 1992 boys’ midweight crew set the bar high for future generations by winning Peddie’s first national championship in rowing.