Team Milestone - Freshman Gold for Bison at ACRA

  The Bucknell Men competed in their final regatta of the 2013 season over the Memorial Day weekend on the site of the 1996 Olympic Regatta on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia. Calm winds, clear skies and cool temperatures in the mid 70’s promised a weekend of great racing. The Bison men competed in the widest variety events to date, entering the Varsity 8+, 2nd Varsity 8+, Varsity 2-, Varsity 2x, and Freshman 4+.
 
  The Varsity 2x composed of Freshman Stroke Zach Franz and Sophomore Bow Will Fierman overcame their inexperience in the event to sprint past an entry from Virginia, taking 3rd by 0.3 seconds – forgoing the repechage and earning them a spot in the grand final. The double was however unable to tap into their previous speed for the Grand Final and would finish 8th overall.
 
  The Varsity 2- made up of Senior Stroke David Brundage and Junior Bow Ethan Zubkoff had their semi-final transpire in much the same way as the 2x before them. With eventual gold medalists from Seattle University well in the lead, the Bucknell pair executed an outstanding sprint to move through the University of Minnesota to take 2nd place and a spot in the Grand Final. The pair were among the leaders for the first 500 meters, until their difficulty in adapting to the tail wind and slightly choppy conditions saw them drop back to finish 7th overall.
 
  The Bucknell Freshman 4+ of Cox Kate Rolfes, Stroke Drew Osborne, Ryan Thompson, Cameron Edwards, and Bow Nate Coffin entered the regatta seeking to improve on their disappointing result from the Dad Vail – and were not to be denied. The four advanced comfortably by winning their semi and setting top time for the day, with Michigan advancing comfortably in 2nd. The Grand Final saw the Bison four as the favorites, with the promise of fierce competition from both Michigan and Orange Coast College. The race was tight from the first stroke, with Bucknell leading barely over OCC and Michigan less than 1 second away in 3rd. Crossing the 1000m mark, OCC began to fade as Michigan moved into 2nd and was threatening to draw even – this margin held as OCC fell off the pace and it was clear that at 500m to go it was a 2 boat race for the win. As the race came down to the sprint, there was no visible margin between the crews for the last 100m as they crossed the line – leaving the winner to be decided by a photo finish. After 5 minutes it was determined that Bucknell was the winner by less than 0.01s – marking the first gold medal by a Bucknell Crew at the ACRA Regatta since its inception in 2008.
 
  The Bison 2nd Varsity 8+ of Jr. Cox Laura Even, Soph. Stroke Taylor Cotter, Fr. Matt Koenigsberg, Fr. Tommy Sadik-Khan, Soph. Tyler Whitehead, Soph. Crawford Morris, Soph. Tyler Bogaczyk, Fr. Sam Wiley and Fr. Bow Doug Burney comfortably advanced to the grand final by taking 3rd behind University of Virginia and North Carolina. The Grand Final was tightly contested, with the Bucknell 2V fighting with UCLA, Grand Valley State, Purdue and North Carolina for the rights to 3rd place until a technical mishap in the last minute of the race saw them lose their rhythm and fall to 8th overall.
 
  The Bucknell Varsity 8+ composed of Sr. Cox Wade Payson-Denney, Jr. Stroke Jackson McCarron, Jr. Matt Sisto, Jr. Connor Corwen, Soph. Alex Moore, Sr. Ryan Lum, Sr. Paul DeGregorio, Soph. Billy Tyler and Jr. Bow Chris Seery were able to comfortably advance from their opening heat by taking 2nd behind Grand Valley State and landing them a spot in the Sunday morning Semi-Final. The semi would not go as smoothly as the Bucknell Bow seat’s rigger failed in the first 3 strokes of the race – Since the failure was in the breakage zone, they were given time to repair the rigger. After replacing the rigger with a spare, the Bucknell Varsity performed well and was in close contact with the leaders and would take 3rd to advance to the grand final behind Michigan and Michigan State, respectively. The Bison Varsity were not able to tap into their previous speed for the Grand Final and would eventually finish 8th overall in a hard fought race filled with tough competition.
 
  The 2013 ACRA was one of firsts, as this was the first time Bucknell Men’s rowing has placed every entry into the Grand Final at a championship regatta. The Freshman 4+ Gold marks the first win for Bucknell at the ACRA National Championship – and the first National Title for a Bucknell Crew since the 2011 ECAC and 2007 Dad Vail winning freshman 8+'s.
 
  The annual award winners for the 2012-2013 season have exemplified the values of the ideal Bucknell oarsman, facing the challenges and adversity of training and competing at a high level while still maintaining strong perfrmance in the classroom.
  The Most Valuable Senior was awarded to Co-Captain Ryan Lum, Ryan has been a staple in the Varsity 8 since his sophomore year and has been the embodiment of leading by example.
  The Most Valuable Junior this year is Jackson McCarron, Jackson has served as the most consistent and reliable performer both during winter training and as stroke of the Varsity 8 for the second straight year.
  The Most Valuable Sophomore is Crawford Morris, as a novice this past fall, Crawford has managed to overcome a steep learning curve with outstanding coachability, attitude and unquestionable work ethic that placed him in the Varsity 8 for the majority of the spring season.
  The Most Valuable Freshman for 2012-2013 is Tommy Sadik-Khan, Tommy started out as a member of the Head of the Genesee Winning Freshman 8+ and was always able to perform under pressure, his continued improvement and intensely competitive nature saw him move from the Freshman ranks to the 2V and eventually into the Varsity 8 for the Dad Vail / ECAC Championships.
 
  The Highest Award of Bucknell Men's Rowing is the Founder's Trophy, which is awarded to the athlete that best exemplifies the core values sought after by the Coaches, Parents and Alumni of the program, the winner for 2012-2013 is Matthew Sisto. Matthew has done an outstnanding job running the Rent-a-Rower program this year while also maintaining a high GPA. By being the most adaptable athlete in the Varsity 8 - racing and training on both port and starboard throughout the year, every change in lineup for optimizing personnel hinged opon Matt's ability to row any seat, either side, day in day out - all season.
 
  The prospects for 2013-2014 look very good as team depth is set to improve upon the successes of 2013 with a strong incoming freshman class and very deep veteran leadership.
 
  The Coaching Staff would like to thank the Graduating Seniors Ryan Lum, Paul DeGregorio, David Brundage and Wade Payson-Denney for a great four years.