Class Year: 2018
Major: Mechanical Engineering and Russian
Hometown: Enola, PA
High School: East Pennsboro Area High School
Where does one even begin to the tale of Mike Birosak? How do you sing the praises of the lifelong bow seat and in denial lightweight rower that is Mike Birosak? Don’t worry. He’s more than willing to do it for you.
From humble beginnings as the slowest walk-on his frosh year, he has risen from barely avoiding being a slightly too heavy coxswain….to being an aggressively average rower, with an emphasis on the aggressive. His background in the arts of marching band and weight lifting almost prepared him for this rowing career.
His freshman year achievements consisted of being seat raced out of the Freshman Four, almost hitting the island on the Schuylkill course after starting from lane five, NOT murdering his pair partner after the Dad Vail, and learning to scull one week before racing in the double at the ACRA.
He also managed to make it on the Dean’s List for his academics. Somehow, his parents knew to frame the letter home about it, because that miracle sure as hell was not going to happen again.
His sophomore year showed marginal improvements, only later discovered by intense after the fact data analysis. He bowed the Third Varsity Eight for the entire season (with the singular exception of a disastrous attempt to sit in seven), and that’s all we are going to say about that. He also took on the responsibilities of Rent-a-Rower Chair, a decision that continues to haunt him.
During the summer between his sophomore and junior year, he stayed on campus to research a topic that he barely understands even now, and was somehow trusted enough to help coach a local high school rowing club.
He’s really been hanging his hat on his Junior Year: his first year of pseudo-achievement. After a rocky start, that year’s Third Varsity Eight went on to claim surprising (even to the coxswain who watched it happen) victories over Drexel and Michigan, unsurprising victories over the 2V, bring home more medals than they could carry (i.e. three), and somehow fluke their way into a second place seed at the ECAC, where they did not medal. Not that he’s bitter at all. He’s totally over it. Definitely. Between his junior and senior year, he traveled with the team to England for the Henley Royal Regatta, where he raced in the regatta’s most prestigious event: the spare pair. His stroke seat rated at a 42 for the entire course, and they lost in the second round to a pair of high school students. He then returned from across the pond for another stint of summer research. His senior year is “progressing.”
Between his usual day-to-day struggles for survival he is applying (i.e. trying to cover up the fact that his is an idiot) to graduate schools for mechanical engineering. His academic interests for grad school include thermofluids (he loves a good heat exchanger), system dynamics, and long walks on the beach.
Despite the efforts of The Man to keep him down, he escaped his three-year-long exile to the bow, and has recently made his debut in the stroke seat of the Third Eight. He looks forward to his last year of rowing at Bucknell with with the enthusiasm that comes from knowing he is going to cry at the end of year banquet.