For the first time since the October blizzard of 2011, the Bucknell men traveled back to the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta. The team brought three varsity 8’s, with the freshman crews staying home to train for next weekends Rutgers Fall classic. Conditions were much better than 2011, with sunny skies and temperatures in the 60’s. The only weather crews had to compete with this year was a head wind over the 2.5 mile course.
The first event of the day for the team was the Club Championship 8. Bucknell entered their 2nd Varsity 8 and 3rd Varsity 8 into this event, which saw clubs like Passaic River RA, other 2nd and 3rd varsity 8’s, and plenty of collegiate varsity 8’s as well. The Bucknell 2nd Varsity 8 was made up of rowers who competed at the Head of the Charles in the Collegiate 4 and Club 8, and each individual was eager to race after the previous weekends results. The 2nd Varsity 8 got off to a slightly sluggish start, taking the first several minutes of the race to really find their rhythm. At the first checkpoint, only a few minutes into the race the Bucknell A entry was solidly in 11th place. As the crew rowed through the Dad Vail 2k course they seemed to find more confidence and speed, quickly moving from 11th at the first checkpoint to 7th place around the halfway mark. The 2nd half of the course was where the brunt of the headwind was felt, and the Bucknell A entry was able to stay aggressive and pick up one more spot by the finish line, finishing 6th overall out of 38, ahead of all but one varsity 8 entered in the event. The Bucknell A Club 8 was rowed by Pat Long ’18, Alex Seel ’20, Bobby Subak ’21, Ryan Galli ’21, Ryan Wang ’19, Duncan Ragland ’19, Christian Daugherty ’18, Matt LaRouche ’20, and was coxed by Perry Hamilton ’18.
The Bucknell B entry in the Club Championship 8 event was a 3rd Varsity 8 made of many underclassmen on the team. The B entry started more aggressively, crossing the first checkpoint in 18th place ahead of several varsity 8’s and 2nd varsity 8’s. Unfortunately the younger crew was not able to handle the pace, the headwind, or the competition as well as the Bucknell A entry, slipping to 23rd at the halfway point, and 26th by the finish line. This was a good racing experience for our underclassmen to show them the consistency that is necessary to compete at the varsity level. The Bucknell B Club 8 was rowed by Mike Birosak ’18, James Koenigsberg ’18, Liam Gibbons ’21, Nick Bermeo ’21, Jack Gallagher ’21, Liam Oakley ’21, Phil Thompson ’20, Sam Jacob ’20, and was coxed by Lourenco Martins ’21.
The last event of the day for Bucknell was the Championship 8 with a stacked field. The headline entry in the event was the US National Team 8 who just finished 2nd at the 2017 World Championships in Florida in September. Along with the US Team, it gave our crew an opportunity to race against many Dad Vail finalist crews from the last few years: Drexel, St Joe’s, and Army. UC San Diego also made the trip across the country, with other crews from Penn, LaSalle, Fordham, and Penn AC filling out the field. Similar to our A entry in the Club 8 event, our Championship 8 wasn’t able to find their rhythm as quickly as they wanted, which saw them get to the first checkpoint in 8th place. The crew redeemed themselves in the late stages of the 2k course to move up into 7th by the halfway mark, but that would be as high as they would climb. While they had a good back and forth battle through the middle of the course with Army, Bucknell wasn’t able to close the margin, and finished in 7th place out of a stacked 12 crew event. Like our 2nd Varsity 8, the race at the Schuylkill was a step in the right direction a week after the Head of the Charles. The Bucknell Championship 8 was rowed by Thomas Marth ’19, Andrew Stonnington ’19, John Leasure ’19, Dillon LaFata ’18, Mike Pallotta ’18, Alex Herman ’20, Gunnar Vorwerk ’19, Ryan McSherry ’19, and was coxed by Cami Berlin ’19.
The team will be back in action both days next weekend, with three freshman 8’s competing at the Rutgers Fall Classic in New Brunswick, NJ on Saturday. Then the whole team will race at Bald Eagle State Park against Penn State and LaSalle on Sunday. Go Bison!