Tyler Bogaczyk just recently finished his junior year at Bucknell and has been a part of the men's rowing team since his freshman year, and now he and his teammates are in London for the Henley Royal Regatta that runs through today.
The Henley Royal Regatta is considered the best known regatta in the world where crew teams from all over the globe will compete. Bucknell was competing for The Temple Challenge Cup against 73 other teams from the United States, Japan, Holland, Ireland and Canada, among many other teams.
This has been a long process for the Bucknell crew team, which has been planning this event and trying to raise funds since last year.
The Bucknell men’s rowing team, which includes Loyalsock graduate Tyler Bogaczyk, is at the Henley Royal Regatta this week in London.
"We've been kind of talking about it since last year, about the possibility of going over," said Bogaczyk, a 2011 Loyalsock High School graduate. "This year is actually our program's 30th year at Bucknell. When we came back from winter break, we had an indoor training session and we finished it off with a big 30th banquet that we held with the women's team and we brought back a bunch of alumni that were meaningful to the program over the past 30 years and that was kind of one of the big things that they unveiled at that. We've been trying to raise a lot of money to send our team over and the banquet was a great way to bring those alumni together. Fundraising and kind of tying it all together and finalizing the announcement that we were gonna be able to go over in the summer."
While at Loyalsock, Bogaczyk was an all-state forward for the basketball team and also played quarterback for the football team. With that kind of success, Bogaczyk expected to walk on for the basketball team but there wasn't enough spots. Then, Bogaczyk considered a transfer in hopes of finding a spot on a basketball or football team elsewhere. But Bogaczyk decided to stay at Bucknell due to the academics and the environment, and a few days after the basketball rejection, a floormate knocked on Bogaczyk's dorm room door and told him about the rowing team.
"One of the kids in my freshman hall, who lived next door to me, had been recruited to Bucknell for rowing and then when he found out that I wasn't going to play on the basketball team, he really kind of tried to talk to me into playing or coming to the first rowing meeting," said Bogaczyk. "Because in rowing they try to get a bunch of walk-ons because not a lot of people know about it. And most college rowers actually don't start rowing until they get to college in the first place just because it's not a very popular sport in the U.S. like basketball or football.
"The day of the first practice, the kid that was living down my hall, I actually forgot about it (the practice) because he ended up knocking on my door and kind of pulled me along and I went down and they kind of showed me how to get in the boat and what the oars were and everything, I knew nothing about it," said Bogaczyk. "You know, the rest is history. I just kept coming back, they haven't let me leave yet, so here I am three years later."
Bogaczyk hasn't played basketball or football competitively since he left high school. He misses both sports a lot, but now that he is around a competitive sport, it helps keep that competitive fire going.
"I think that I definitely miss football and basketball a lot," said Bogaczyk. "It's kind of like starting over at square one where I was the low one on the totum poll and I had never done anything close to the motion that you need to for rowing before. So the thing that I think that high school sports helped me with was the competitive drive. I think that's why I wanted to do something for Bucknell, I wanted to compete and represent my school, even if I couldn't do that on the basketball court."
Despite missing basketball, Bogaczyk has enjoyed rowing and representing Bucknell. With the rowing team Bogaczyk has had the opportunity to go up and down the east coast and now to London.
"It's been an awesome experience. I could have never imagined that I'd be on a rowing team after I left high school," said Bogaczyk. "But its been a really amazing experience, the fact that I've gotten to travel all up and down the east coast and now I have the opportunity to go to London and leave the United States."