The Drake women’s crew team will compete for a championship next year. The program is joining the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference beginning in the spring of 2010. Drake coach Charlie DiSilvestro says they have been searching for a league for about four years.

He says they looked at forming a conference with Southern Methodist, Creighton, Tulsa, Oklahoma City University and Murray State, but the NCAA has a moratorium on creating new conferences. After looking around they decided to the Metro Atlantic was a perfect fit.

By joining a conference the program will now have an opportunity to compete for a championship. He says that was the most important thing for him, to compete for a legitimate conference championship. DiSilvestro says membership in a conference also means the members of the team will have the opportunity to earn individual recognition.

DiSilvestro says they have student athlete awards and they will be recognized for work in the classroom and in the water.

The other members of the MAAC are located on the east coast: Loyola, Marist, Fairfield,Iona, Sacred Heart and Manhattan.