Washburn students hit the water

corey garriott

Upon the waters of Lake Shawnee, a group of students from Washburn University can be seen hard at work. No, not hard at work fueling raging fires or catching fish with TNT, but something a little more wholesome and worthwhile – rowing.

“It’s going to be a club at Washburn. You can join it and do it for fun,” said Misha Jezdanov, captain of the rowing team and is also a stroke for the team. “We will represent the school, but officially, we will not be a Washburn rowing team.”

Jezdanov currently rows through the Topeka Rowing Association, but wants to branch out to Washburn in the form of a club. Jezdanov, a senior majoring in business management, certainly knows his way around the water. For 16 years, Jezdanov has been rowing, competing in competitions all around the world.

“I started back home in Belgrade,” said Jezdanov. “I was a six-year member of the Yugoslavia national team.”

Jezdanov won the world championship in 1994, 1995 and 1996. He said his biggest accomplishment was being world champion in 1995.

Jezdanov admits that he isn’t in that kind of shape now, but he is hoping to get back to form again.

Another member of the team is senior John Swinford, a criminal justice major, with three years of rowing experience.

“There are no qualifications to be in the Topeka Rowing Association,” said Swinford. “But once we get approved, only Washburn students will be able to row under the Washburn name.”

While this may become a club at Washburn, anyone can still join the TRA and compete under its name. The team practices weekdays 3:30-5:30 p.m. and Saturday 8:30-11 a.m.

“We’ve got a good workout program to get you in shape and to give it a try,” said Swinford.

Jezdanov and Swinford can be seen in action at the Kansas Indoor Regatta on Saturday, Feb. 18. They also plan on rowing at the nationals in Camden, New Jersey in mid-July.

“I think we’ll do fairly well,” said Swinford. “We race against a lot of top double’s teams throughout the country, but in the Midwest, we are one of the top double’s teams.”