Tallahassee - With the sun peaking on a foggy Tuesday morning, the Florida State crew club embarks on their final practice in Tallahassee. They're rowing for the Grand Finals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this weekend, the largest collegiate regatta tournament in the country. But at least half of the expenses for the trip will be paid by themselves.
"We have seven boats, most of them are 12 years old," said Kimmy Maczuga, a member of the women's varsity four. "And that's what we're racing and that's what we're winning in."
Maczuga, a junior at FSU, is also the team president.
"Just making it through the year and breaking even is a goal for us," she said.
The rowing club fundraises through donors and working at the school's basketball and baseball games. But with costs as high as about 60,000 dollars a year, they have to reach into their own pockets.
Chris Schmoldt is the assistant director of sports club at FSU.
"The council has a select number of 140,000 dollars that they can allocate to the clubs and the club is responsible for finding the funds to make up the difference," Schmoldt said.
And while the 40-plus clubs, like Crew, tread water year-to-year, they're still working to finish at the top.
"We are here to compete," Maczuga said. "We need to be taken seriously."
No matter the cost.