Bucknell Men finish the season 6th overall at the ACRA National Championship

The Bucknell Men 2015 season concluded last weekend ACRA National Championship, at the 1996 Olympic Rowing Course on Lake Lanier, in Gainesville, Georgia.  The Bison had 5 crews entered for competition, the Varsity Eight, Second Varsity Eight, Freshmen Eight, Varsity Double, and Varsity Single.

The Men’s Single, rowed by Will Fierman ’15, was the first event of the weekend.  Despite this being the first sculling race of the season for him, he moved out of his heat easily, placing second to qualify for the semi-final. In the semi he again rowed well, finishing a very close 3rd place, to again advance to the final.  Conditions began to worsen for the Grand Final that afternoon, as the wind began to shift around, but he started off his race well.  The top two scullers from the College of Charleston and the University of Chicago moved away from the rest of the field, but there was a tight battle between the next 5 scullers for the bronze.  A challenging sprint saw Will end up placing 5th, less than 2 seconds off of third place.

The Varsity Double was the next event.  Despite learning to scull only a week before the race, Mike Birosak ’18 and Victor Young ’17, still had their sights on rowing well.  Their initial heat, however, was a tough test for the young crew.  Relative inexperience coupled with tough conditions saw the Bison crew finish in 5th, which meant they would have to row through the repechage to try and make the grand-final.  Due to a small amount of entries, the repechage would also double as the B Final for those who did not qualify.  A good race saw the double finish in 5th again, but was much more competitive with the field, finishing less than 5 seconds off 3rd and 4th place.

The Freshmen Eight was next, rowed by Pat Long, James Koenigsberg, John Gleason, Dylan O’Connor, Christian Daugherty, Luke Goodwin, Rich Nicolaides, Cameron Williams, and coxed by Perry Hamilton.  Their freshmen started out rough, placing third in their heat, which meant they would have to win their repechage to advance to the grand-final.  In the rep  the 1F started slowly, but managed to move ahead after the first 500 meters.  Halfway through the race, the 1F had a comfortable lead over North Carolina, and cruised to qualification.  The Grand Final proved to be a very fast race, with OCC opening up a big lead on the field early, but a tough battle broke out between the Bison, Virginia, and UCSB for the remaining medals.  A strong sprint saw the 1F come up just short, finishing in a very close 4th place. 

The 2nd Varsity Eight, rowed by Doug Burney ‘16, Crawford Morris ‘15, Sam Jubb ‘17, Mike Pallotta ‘18, Jack Shelton ‘18, Nick Barpoulis ‘17, Dillon LaFata ‘18, Sam Wiley ‘16, and coxed by Suzie Zubkoff ‘18, placed third in a fast morning heat.  Due to a limited number of entries, this meant they would move directly to the grand-final the next day.   The final would prove to be no less fast.  Virginia and Michigan went charging off the line, but Bucknell and UCSB moved with them.  Halfway through the race all 4 crews were within a length of one another.  As the last 500 meters approached, Michigan and UVA began to move away and UCSB made a move to stay with the leaders.   The 2V could not keep the pace and slipped back, and despite a strong sprint finished a close 4th.

The varsity eight, rowed by Andrew Vinnik ‘17, Billy Tyler ‘15, Nate Coffin ‘16, Billy Pinamont ‘17, Alex Moore ‘15, Tyler Bogaczyk ‘15, Lucas Colagrassi ‘17, Ryan Thompson ‘16, and coxed by Henry Leonardi ‘18, had a peculiar start to the regatta.  A quarter of the way into their heat one of their oars suffered some damage, rendering it useless.  Racing with only 7 men, the Bison still managed to finish 4th in the heat, but would have to race in the repechage to advance to the semi-finals the next day.  A tough battle with Cincinnati in the rep saw the Bison come out on top, which moved them into the semi-final the next day.  In a barnburner of a race, the Bison would throw down a very fast time, but still finished in 7th, which meant they would race in the B final the next day.  Still, determined to finish the season on a strong note, the Bison went out to race.  A three way battle developed between Boston College, Washington State, and Bucknell for the lead spot in the B final, and the racing continued all the way down to the line.  In the end the Bison would finish in 3rd, which placed them 11th overall.

At the conclusion of racing the team gathered for their annual year end banquet.  This gave the team time to sit down, give out awards, name captains, and honor the senior rowers who will be leaving the team.  First the captain for the 2015-2016 season were named; with Sam Wiley ’16 serving as Captain and Billy Pinamont ’17 serving as Co-Captain. Next athletes who had received All-Academic and All-Conference awards from the ECAC and ACRA were honored.  This included; Billy Tyler ’15, Andrew Vinnik ’17, Alex Moore ’15, Tyler Bogaczyk ’15, Crawford Morris ’15, and Ryan Thompson ’16.  Next the team chose a member from each year to honor, the Freshman of the Year went to Pat Long, the Sophomore of the Year went to Andrew Vinnik, the Junior of the Year went out to Ryan Thompson, and the Senior of the Year went to Alex Moore.  The Randall Leavitt Award was given out next, given to the team member who best embodies the spirit and character of Bucknell Men’s Rowing.  The 2015 winner is Billy Tyler ’15.  Finally, the team honored our 5 graduating seniors, for years of service and dedication to each other, their teammates, and the team as a whole.  Bucknell Men’s Rowing would just like to say thank you one last time to Alex Moore, Tyler Bogaczyk, Billy Tyler, Crawford Morris, and Will Fierman.

Bucknell Men’s Rowing would like to thank everyone on another successful season.  From the parents, to all the athletes, to alumni, friends and other supporters, we thank you deeply.  See everyone again in the fall!