Bucknell Rowing Tackles Dad Vail / ECAC Double Regatta Weekend

  The Bucknell Men tackled the grueling double-regatta weekend by attending both the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, Pa on the Friday and Saturday of May 10-11 and the ECAC Regatta held in Worcester, Ma on Sunday, May 12th. Bucknell was one of only two programs to attempt the Dad Vail / ECAC Double.
  Friday racing at the Dad Vail began with the Varsity 4+ composed of Cox Evan Rossman, Stroke Zach Franz, Mike Schwartz, Mustafa Abbas and Bow Will Fierman competing in arguably the most competitive event at the regatta, the Bucknell V4 was in contention early before fading to a 6th place finish behind eventual grand finalists from Georgia Tech.
  The next event down the course was the Varsity 2- composed of Senior Stroke David Brundage and Junior Bow Ethan Zubkoff. The Pair got off to a clean and fast start in the opening heat to maintain a comfortable 2nd place finish behind University of Virginia and holding off the crew from Oklahoma City University – placing them in the Saturday morning semi-final. The semi did not go as smoothly, as the pair was in 2nd place at the 750m mark before hitting the turn at strawberry mansion bridge, where the strong headwind and rough water saw the pair fall from 2nd to 5th behind the eventual Gold Medalists from Drexel University.
  The Bucknell 2V composed of Cox Laura Even, Stroke Billy Tyler, Paul DeGregorio, Tyler Whitehead, Taylor Cotter, Matt Koenigsberg, Tyler Bogaczyk, Sam Wiley and Bow Doug Burney were able to advance comfortably from their heat, placing 2nd to the University of Virginia and granting them lane 5 for the grand final. The final was tightly contested between Michigan, Drexel, Virginia and Bucknell, with all four crews within a length of each other at the 1000m mark. Michigan and Drexel began to pull away while Bucknell and Virginia fought for 3rd. Eventually Michigan was able to pull away for the win, with Drexel 2nd, and Virginia taking 3rd over Bucknell by 3.9 seconds.
  The Bison Varsity faced tough competition at the Dad Vail, seeded 9th overall, the V8 faced #4 Ranked Michigan State, which saw Michigan State win the heat with the fastest time of the day, with Bucknell trailing 7 seconds behind – recording the fastest non-qualifying time and sending them to the Repechage on Friday afternoon. The Repechage was tightly contested between Bucknell, Jacksonville and perennial rival Purdue University, with close racing for 1500m between all three crews, until the Bison Varsity was able to pull away for a 1.8 second win over Purdue and Jacksonville only 0.3 seconds behind in 3rd.
  The Saturday morning semi-final was sure to be tight, with crews from University of Michigan, Michigan State, Temple University, Bucknell, Notre Dame and Delaware. The racing was fierce in the first 1000m, with Michigan, Michigan State, Temple and Bucknell all vying for the lead – eventually the rough conditions and head wind saw Michigan and Michigan State move away to take the qualifying positions for the grand final, while Temple finished 3rd and the Bucknell Varsity trailed in 4th – sending them to the petite final to find the 7th-12th place crews.
  The Petite was of similar speed and competition as the previous semi-final, With only 6 seconds separating 1st thru 5th places, the racing was tight and the lead changed hands on more than one occasion, with the order ending with Jacksonville in 1st, Purdue 2nd, Colgate 3rd, Temple 4th and Bucknell 5th.
  With Sunday, May 12th came the ECAC Regatta, a variety of weather conditions and a new set of opponents.
  The first event to compete on Sunday was the Bucknell 3rd Varsity, who were in a very tight race with the University of Michigan, fighting for the lead throughout all 2000m, with Michigan taking the win by about ¾ of a length with Bucknell following in 2nd, both crews were well clear of Marist College in 3rd.
  The final was the tightest race of the day, with the top four seeds from Michigan, Trinity, Hobart and Bucknell all within 3 seats of the lead for the majority of the race. The Bison 3V led early, with a 2 seat advantage over Trinity, Hobart and Michigan, the race was dead even at 1000m, then Michigan began to move out to a ½ Length lead with the other 3 crews still fighting for 2nd. Coming down to the sprint, Michigan had a slim lead while there was a very tight battle for 2nd and 3rd. Michigan would eventually finish 1st with a time of 6:18.42, Hobart 2nd in 6:19.7, Bucknell 3rd in 6:21.05 and Trinity 4th in 6:21.41. The 3rd place finish marks the first time a Bucknell crew has medaled in the 3V event.
   The Bison 2V advanced from their heat comfortably in 2nd place only 1.8 seconds behind Williams College and 12 seconds ahead of 3rd place WPI. The final promised fierce competition between Bucknell, Williams, Trinity and Newly Minted Dad Vail Champions, Michigan. The Bucknell 2V got off to a slow start; sitting in 5th at the halfway point before finding their rhythm and moving through crews from Marist and Trinity to eventually take 3rd behind Michigan and Williams College. This result marks only the second time a Bucknell 2V has medaled at the ECAC, after 2012’s Silver Medal performance.
   The Bucknell Varsity came into the ECAC with mixed results from the Dad Vail in the previous 2 days, and the semi-final promised a high-pressure race with crews from Marist College and Hobart College and only 2 qualifying positions for the grand final. Marist was the surprise of the race, moving out to a length lead over #1 seeded Hobart with Bucknell ½ length off of the Statesmen. Coming into the sprint, the previous 2 days of racing showed as the Bison Varsity could not overcome their deficit and finished 3rd, 2.65 seconds behind Hobart – Placing them in the Petite Final.
  The Petite featured a tight race between the Bison Varsity and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, which saw the Bucknell Varsity eventually finish 2nd, only 1.2 seconds off of the winners from WPI and 3.6 seconds ahead of 3rd place Boston College.
  The Bucknell Men will now prepare the penultimate regatta of the championship season, the ACRA National Championship held on the 1996 Olympic course on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Ga.