Ben Murphy rows, rows, rows his boat at the Bayside Rowing Club. Photo: Summer Darbyson

Rye student rows his way to national training camp

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By Marissa Dederer

Photo Editor

A Ryerson architecture student has secured a place in a national rowing development camp in Victoria.

Ben Murphy, 21, qualified for the six week camp during the national development trials that were held April 28 – 29.

“I got it in my head that this [camp] is what I’m doing,” said Murphy. “I know it’s kind of foolish but I didn’t plan not to go.”

The trials took place at the Welland International Flatwater Centre.  Saturday morning’s time trial would see Murphy seeded ninth of all the men’s singles. That afternoon he raced in semifinals, finishing well enough to qualify for the B-final.

Going into Sunday’s finals, Murphy knew that he had to beat or be close to the top under-23 male in his race. After the first 500m he was in fifth and over the remaining 1500m he caught fourth and third. But in the end, he couldn’t pass the top under-23 male.

“At that point I was unsure of my fate for the summer,” he said.

Murphy returned to Toronto with a silver medal in the under-23 heavyweight men’s class.

But it wasn’t until he was unpacking his bags in Toronto that he knew he was invited out West.

“When I got the phone call I was pretty ecstatic,” he said. “Throughout the whole winter that was my goal, to be selected for the under-23 camp.”

He texted his friends and family the news right away.

“My mom called me. She was so happy she was crying a bit,” he said.

Murphy, who has never been to the West Coast before, will arrive in Vancouver a couple of days before the training camp starts in Victoria May 8.

At the end of the six weeks, the coaches will select the athletes who will represent Canada at the 2012 under-23 world championships in Lithuania. And for a young man who hopes to one day represent Canada at the Olympics, this would be an opportunity not to be missed.

Murphy will be racing for a spot in either a two or four man boat.

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