Bison Men Have Strong Team Result at Knecht Cup

The Bucknell Men competed in their first major regatta of the spring season this past Saturday and Sunday, April 12th-13th at the Knecht Cup Regatta hosted by Villanova University on Lake Mercer in West Windsor, NJ.  The first event contested by the Bison was that of the Men’s Freshman/Novice 4+, the crew composed of Stroke Nick Barpoulis, Cooper Josephs, Robert Wilson, Victor Young and Cox Richard Saunders advanced comfortably though their opening heat to advance into the semi-final, which saw them out duel Bowdoin University for the win to advance to the Grand Final. Racing against many school’s top 4 athletes, the Bison crew fought hard all the way down the course in the final, staying in medal contention through the last 500m – where they fell just short of the bronze, finishing 4th with a final time of 7:23.63.  The Men’s Freshman 8+ promised exciting racing, with rival crews from the Dad Vail and ECAC fielding strong crews to fend for the medals. The Bison Freshman started the weekend in dominant fashion, leading from wire to wire in both the opening heat and semi-final to place them in the Grand Final against entries from St. Josephs, Boston College, Marietta College, Drexel University and the University of Delaware. After a collision between Boston College and Drexel caused a restart, the crews were out cleanly the second time around and the Bucknell Freshman crew composed of Cox Kate Feske-Kirby, Stroke Scott Serpico, Drew Vinnik, Frank Henry, Keven VanDelden, Nelson Norley, Drew Poling, Kurt Vostal and Sam Jubb wasted no time establishing a lead in the first 500m. Racing stayed tight all the way down the course, with the Bison moving out to a half-length lead with 500m remaining and eventually able to stretch that lead to a full length to take the gold with a time of 6:15.54, ahead of Delaware (6:17.88) and Drexel (6:19.83).  The Men’s 2nd Varsity 8+ even proved to be a new test for the Bison 2V, which advanced from their semi-final in 2nd place behind Marist College to earn their spot in the final. Sundays Grand Final featured crews from Drexel University, Marist College, Hobart College, Bucknell, Delaware Lightweights and Trinity College. The Bison 2V composed of Cox Kate Rolfes, Stroke West Shepherd, Doug Burney, Nate Coffin, Lucas Colagrossi, Billy Pinamont, Ethan Zubkoff, Ryan Thompson and Bow Sam Wiley fought hard in the early stages, staying at the lead through the 1000m mark, but as the pace continued to intensify the Bison Men eventually fell away from the medals – finishing 4th behind Drexel, Hobart and Marist with a finishing time of 6:14.34.  In the first race of the day on Sunday, the Bucknell Men were represented in the Exhibition Men’s Single Scull event by Junior Will Fierman, who established an early lead and went on to win his flight with a time of 8:07.62.  The headline event of the weekend was that of the Men’s Varsity 8+, the Bison Varsity composed of Cox Laura Even, Stroke Chris Seery, Jackson McCarron, Alex Moore, Crawford Morris, Connor Corwen, Matt Sisto, Tyler Bogaczyk and Bow Billy Tyler cruised to an easy win in their opening heat over Delaware Heavyweights. Later on Saturday afternoon the Bison Varsity would advance with little difficulty in 2nd place behind Hobart College and 1 length ahead of Rutgers in 3rd. The stage was set for the Grand Final to be contested by Drexel University, Hobart College, Ithaca College, Bucknell, then both Open and Lightweight entries from the University of Delaware. The final featured tight racing for the first 1000m, with Bucknell, Hobart and Drexel fighting for the lead, by 500m to go, Ithaca moved into the third position ahead of the Bison varsity, with Hobart open water ahead of 2nd place Drexel. The Bucknell Men struggled to maintain momentum in the final 500m to finish 5th with a final time of 6:10.35.   Knecht Cup 2014 marks the first time that the Bucknell Men’s Program was able to place every entry in the grand final, showing the best team-speed to date. The Bison Men will be in action again this weekend in a double-dual against Hobart College and Georgetown University to take place on Carnegie Lake at Princeton University on Saturday, April 19th.