Frosh Eight Sweep, Varsity Eights Continue to Close Gaps

The Bucknell Men competed in their second regatta of the 2015 season this past Saturday, April 4th in a double-duel against Temple and St. Joseph’s Universities on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, PA. 

The men’s freshmen eight were joined in their race against Temple by Williams College. All three boats got off to a quick, but Bucknell slowly edged in front by the end of the 1st 500 meters. A big move underneath the Strawberry Mansion Bridge saw the Bison establish a one length lead over the field and despite a few attacks from Williams, the frosh held the margin to finish first in a time of 6:21, 5 seconds ahead of Williams and Temple. Later that afternoon the freshmen eight raced St. Joseph’s third varsity eight. The frosh established a half-length lead in the first 500 meters, then quickly broke open water and continue to push out a lead. They finished in a time of 6:27, 8 seconds, almost 9 seconds ahead of the Hawks. The Fresham 8 was made up of coxswain Perry Hamilton, James Koenigsberg, Johnny Gleason, Dillon LaFata, Patrick Long, Cameron Williams, Mike Pallotta, Ben Claytor, and Rich Nicolaides.

The freshmen four faced off against two Temple varsity boats, but they were excited for the challenge. Coming through the half way mark the top Temple boat and Bucknell were both even and well ahead of the second Temple crew. The experience of the Temple varsity rowers proved to be just too much, and they pushed out a slight lead over the bison. Bucknell fought back into the lead but could not close the increasing gap, eventually finishing in the second with a time of 7:19.1.  The freshman four was made up of coxswain Nick Asaro, Christian Daugherty, Shawn Gilhooley, Luke Goodwin, and Mike Birosak.

The second varsity eight came into their first race of the day knowing they had finished 18 seconds off of Temple the weekend before, but knew this race would be much tighter. A confident Bison crew went charging off the line, and instantly found themselves in a tight race with the Temple crew. As the boats passed under the Strawberry Mansion Bridge both crews went stroke for stroke, before Temple managed to open up a slight advantage after the halfway point in the race. Bucknell would finish in a time of 6:12.9, less than 3 seconds behind. In the second race of the day for the second varsity 8, St. Josephs moved ahead of Bucknell off the line, establishing a length lead by the 800 meter mark, but the Bison began to fight back. Slowly, Bucknell started walking back up on the Hawks, gaining momentum with each stroke. With 300 meters to go Bucknell was just about even and the 2V’s final sprint put them ahead, crossing the line in a time of 6:14, 3 seconds ahead of the Hawks. The second varsity 8 was made up of Fr. coxswain Suzie Zubkoff, Sr. Billy Tyler, Jr. Doug Burney, Sr. Crawford Morris, Fr. Dylan O'Connor, Sr. Will Fierman, Fr. Jack Shelton, So. Nick Barpoulis, and Jr. Sam Wiley. 

The Varsity 8 event again saw a Bucknell crew entering the day looking to improve on the previous week that saw Temple beat the Bison by an easy margin.  This time though the race was hotly contested between Bucknell and Temple. Both crews went off the line quickly and cleanly. Bucknell slowly opened up a small lead, and by the 750 meter mark they had established almost a length lead. Temple, however, slowly walked back into the Bucknell crew and with about 800 meters to go both boats were level again. Temple used their momentum to create a lead of their own, and while Bucknell was able to move back slightly in the sprint, the varsity 8 could not keep pace and finished in second place with a time of 6:07.5, less than 3 seconds off the Owls. In their second race of the day the varsity 8 was not able to establish their rhythm in the start, and saw St. Joe's capitalize in the first few hundred meters to create a lead that the Bison were not able to work back into.  While Bucknell was able to equal the speed of St. Joe's over the second half of the race, the Bison would finish in a time of 6:15, 7 seconds behind St. Josephs, which cut the previous weeks deficit to the same crew in half.  The varsity 8 was made up of Fr. coxswain Henry Leonardi, Jr. Ryan Thompson, So. Lucas Colagrossi, Jr. Nate Coffin, Sr. Alex Moore, Sr. Tyler Bogaczyk, So. Andrew Vinnik, So. Billy Pinamont, and So. Sam Jubb.

The races against Temple were part of the Skotedis Cup, which is a competition between the men’s and women’s programs from Bucknell and Temple. The Bison women swept five races from the Owls, while the men captured one of four, resulting in Bucknell winning by an 11-13 score (low score wins). The Skotedis Cup is an event named after John Skotedis, a successful coach of the Bison men’s and women’s crew programs from 1986-92. Skotedis learned to row at Temple and then finished his degree at Bucknell.

The Bucknell Men will get back to work this week, looking to continue to establish weekly improvements as they prepare to race again next Saturday and Sunday (April 11th and 12th) at the Knecht Cup in West Windsor, NJ, on Mercer Lake.