Rising river forces Murphy Cup Regatta to move

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Steady rain fell on this first full day of spring, making for an ugly afternoon.

Still nasty weather could not and would not keep student-athletes from training for their spring sports.

"I am training for the rowing team," said Anthony Ventresca, a student at St. Joe's Prep.

We asked, "You had to do it regardless of the weather?" "Yeh," he responded. "Yesterday was really nice actually, but not so today."

The coastal storm created wet conditions everywhere people went.

Leek Deng, a Wharton student who lives in Center City, was getting in 7 miles along Kelly Drive. He is training for a marathon he will run at the end of the month.

"This is lovely. I love running in the rain," Deng said. "It's about 50 degrees. Perfect running weather. Once you start, 15 minutes, you really don't need to be warmer than 45. "

As cold and wet as it was, Dameon Engblom was walking from the University of Pennsylvania to his home in Germantown. He put the distance at about 9 miles.

He told us, "I am walking home today. That's how much I love the weather. What can I say. I moved here from Oregon in July so I am used to some rain, I guess."

Due to the rainfall, the Murphy Cup Regatta is moving to the Cooper River on Saturday. Officials made the move from the Schuylkill River out of concern for participant safety.

"The Schuylkill River is expected to create between 10 and 11 feet high on Saturday morning which makes the river unrowable," said Freeholder Jeff Jash, liaison to the Camden County Parks Department. "Temple University, the organizer of the Murphy Cup, contacted Camden County to see if they could move the event here. We have hosted the event in the past and are glad to do it again so that the regatta would not have to be canceled.

Most than 30 universities racing over 150 boats will participate in a regatta that typically attracts 2,500 athletes and 2,000 spectators.

"We are glad to be able to offer these athletes a world-class venue for the regatta, and we are extremely excited to host the opening collegiate spring regatta in the area," Nash said. "Having the ability and capacity to host events like this is an incredible benefit to Camden County and is why the Board has worked so hard to maintain and improve Cooper River in recent years."
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