Last Saturday, the Bucknell Bison traveled to Foster Joseph Sayer Lake, located in Bald Eagle State Park in Howard, PA. Conditions proved to be near perfect, despite some morning rain, with temperatures in the mid 60’s and minimal wind. The Bison would be joining Army and Penn State’s annual Faunce Cup racing. The Faunce Cup was created in 2015 to honor the memory of Penn State graduate and Arym ROTC member, Captain Brian R. Faunce, who was killed in action in Iraq in 2003. With the addition of Bucknell and UMass the event became an all ACRA affair where the team knew they would be up against some fast crews, especially the #4 ACRA ranked Army varsity 8. Bucknell would field a varsity eight, second varsity eight, third varsity eight, a varsity four, and a freshmen four.
The varsity eight was the closest race of the day. Bucknell had been within striking distance of Army in the semifinal of the Knecht Cup and the heat of the Kerr Cup, but hadn’t been able to match speed through the middle of the race. This time around Bucknell surged out to an early lead over Army, UMass, and Penn State. Slowly Bucknell and Army pulled away from the field, with Army continuously creeping closer and closer back on the Bison. With 400 meters to go the crews were about level, but a last second sprint from the Bison maintained the lead. Bucknell would cross just a few seats ahead of Army in a time of 6:05.2, with UMass and Penn State further back. The 1v was rowed by Nick Barpoulis ’17, Sam Jubb ’17, Billy Pinamont ’17, David Dayya ’20, John Leasure ’19, Dillon LaFata ’18, Andrew Stonnington ’19, Ryan McSherry ’19, and was coxed by Cami Berlin ’19.
The second varsity eight also found themselves in a tight three boat race. We had gone up against Army twice before head to head with each crew claiming a victory: Army at Knecht, and Bucknell at Kerr. This would likely being the last time these two crews would face off this year, and it quickly became a very similar race to a few weeks ago in New Jersey. The 2v roared out to and early length lead, but could not break away from Army. The Cadets slowly moved back through the Bison, taking the lead with about 600 meters to go. UMass had also moved with Army, and with 500 meters to go the race still could have been won by any crew. Despite a strong sprint, that saw Bucknell hold off UMass, the Bison could not get past Army and would finish a couple seconds behind in a time of 6:25.5. The 2v was rowed by Thomas Marth ’19, Pat Long ’18, James Koenigsberg ’18, Mike Pallotta ’18, Tom Lanphier ’20, Christian Daugherty ’18, Lucas Colagrossi ’17, Duncan Ragland ’19, and was coxed by Perry Hamilton ’18.
The third varsity eight squared off against Army’s freshmen eight. The Bison started quickly and soon had a lead over Army. Bucknell would keep pulling away to win in a time of 6:27.7, 16 seconds ahead of Army. The 3v was rowed by Gunnar Vorwerk ’19, Matt LaRouche ’20, John Robertshaw ’20, Alex Seel ’20, Alex Herman ’20, Ryan Wang ’19, Matt Brown ’20, Mike Birosak ’18, and was coxed by Nicole Finan ’17.
The varsity four would face two Army and Penn State boats. Despite holding an early lead the Army crews proved too strong by the Bison, and they would finish in 3rd with a time of 7:31. The varsity four was rowed by Gary Tse ’19, Matt Gorloff ’20, David Sullivan ’20, Matt McLaughlin ’20, and was coxed by Henry Leonardi ’18.
The freshmen four followed a similar pattern to the varsity four. They started well before fading back to finish behind Penn State and Army in a time of 7:40. The freshman four was rowed by Caleb Choi, Solomon Wise, Phil Thompson, Sam Jacob, and was coxed by Zack Schiffer.
The Bison will head down to Gifford Pinchot State Park next Saturday to defend their 2016 men’s team championship at the Mid-American Rowing Conference Championship. We hope to see many friends and family there!