Colin Stewart had a big spring rowing for the Drexel University men’s crew team, and his accomplishments didn’t stop once the college season ended.
Stewart, a rising senior for Drexel and an Ocean City High School graduate, was a member of the Undine Barge Club’s men’s quad crew which won the intermediate title by 0.004 seconds July 9 at the USRowing National Championships in Bethel, Ohio. Undine just barely beat Arion Rowing Club, of Sarasota Springs, New York. The category had 28 crews.
The intermediate division is made up of rowers who are not on the national team and haven’t yet won an intermediate title.
“It was the most exhausting race of my life,” said Stewart, a 21-year-old resident of Petersburg in Upper Township. “Every time we got ahead they caught up. We went all out. I said, ‘Oh man, this is going to hurt.’ Every single stroke counted.”
The other members of the Undine quad were Jack Higgins, a Temple University graduate, Shawn Neal, a Rutgers-Camden graduate, and Tom Brady, a Rutgers University graduate.
“We didn’t know if we had won,” Stewart said. “There was a drone overhead that was circling the winners, and it circled us. My club coach, Joe Quaid, showed us the photo of the finish. We won by just about an inch.”
The next step up from intermediate is the senior-elite category, and Stewart and the Undine crew entered it and finished second in the final to Penn AC, a neighboring team from Boathouse Row in Philadelphia. The division had six crews.
Quad rowers have two oars apiece, with no coxswain. At Drexel, Stewart rows in eight-boats, with one oar and a coxswain. He took up sculling last year.
He was in the No. 4 seat of Drexel’s second varsity eight, which won a gold medal in its division at the Dad Vail Regatta on May 11 on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. Two other members of the crew were Rocco Fucetola (St. Augustine Prep) and Brandon Kintish (Mainland Regional). The second eight helped Drexel win the men’s team points title at the regatta.
Stewart and the second eight were 20th overall at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships on June 2 in Gold River, California.
Stewart, a film and video major, was named to the IRA All-Academic Team on July 8 along with 11 other Drexel men, including Fucetola, Kintish, Doug Davis (Mainland Regional) and Hunter Reed (St. Augustine Prep).
Paul Savell, a former Holy Spirit High School rower, is the director of men’s and women’s rowing at Drexel.
“Colin is doing an outstanding job,” said Savell, 50. “He’s won Dad Vail two years out of three (also with the freshman eight in 2017). He’s so good in athletics and academics. He’s a team leader, and he has one more year. I can’t wait to see what is to come.”
Stewart wants to be a movie director and has experience making films.
“I went to the viewing of a movie he produced and directed, and it was top-level,” Savell said.
“It was a growing-up type movie, like a Hallmark movie. He has also done video for us and for the Drexel athletic department. He’s put together some really cool stuff. Colin is multi-faceted.”
Collegiate rowing has a short season in the fall, and Stewart will begin full training in September.
At Ocean City, he was a member of the 2014 junior eight that won at the Scholastic Rowing Association of American Regatta in Mercer County Park.