Crew team makes program history

Andrew Arnao

Sports Editor

The men’s and women’s rowing teams had hectic, event-filled weekends which featured program firsts for both teams. The women’s team raced Drexel and Penn on April 6 in Philadelphia then competed in the Occoquan Sprints in Virginia on April 7. The men’s team split up its squad, with its varsity eight competing in the San Diego Crew Classic in California while the rest of the team dueled with Drexel in Philadelphia on April 6.

The weekend began for the women’s team against Drexel. The varsity eight dominated the race and won by a solid margin of 6.6 seconds. Following a short rest, the team returned to action in the afternoon against perennial powerhouse Penn. In an extremely tight and hard-fought race, the varsity eight was victorious. The Bison defeated Penn with a time of 6:50.3, less than one second ahead of Penn’s 6:51.0 finish. This marked the first time in program history the varsity eight had defeated Penn and was the “highlight of the weekend” according to head coach Stephen Kish.

After a long night of travel, the women’s team was ready for more racing as it competed in the Occoquan Sprints. The team had seven boats in action and all four of the team’s eights made their respective grand finals. Although none were able to find victory in the grand final, they still put up solid performances. These boats and their finishes were: varsity eight (second), junior varsity eight (sixth), second varsity eight (fifth) and the novice eight (fifth).

“We look forward to building off of all the race experience we had last weekend to continue to develop as we move towards the Patriot League Championships in May,” Kish said.

The men’s crew team also had a busy weekend, splitting up its squad to race at two separate venues. The varsity eight traveled to California to compete in the prestigious San Diego Crew Classic. After winning its heat on April 6, the Bison found themselves against some very tough competition in the Cal Cup final on April 7. After a slow start, the team worked its way back through the pack towards the front. Unfortunately, there was not enough room for the team to complete its and the Bison finished in second place behind UC Santa Barbara with a time of 6:09.26.

Head coach Al Monte was “happy to see the varsity eight race a very gutsy and determined race against some very good crews.”

Meanwhile, the remainder of the team raced Drexel and Mercyhurst in Philadelphia on April 6. The second varsity eight finished in third place behind both Drexel boats, but ahead of Mercyhurst. The third varsity eight was also defeated, losing to Drexel’s novice eight but beating Mercyhurst’s third varsity eight.

Both teams will look for victories this weekend in Cherry Hill, N.J. at the Knecht Cup Regatta.

 

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