Bucknell Men Open Season in Ithaca

The Bucknell Men kicked off the 2016 spring racing season this past weekend on the Cayuga Inlet in Ithaca, NY. The 2016 Cayuga duels featured crews from Cornell, Hobart, Michigan, and Ithaca College. Race day conditions turned out well, with temperatures in the high 40’s and only light winds. The schedule for the day was that all crews would race twice, racing in the morning, then being paired against crews of comparable speed in the afternoon.

The Varsity Eight was the first race of the day, squaring off against the defending lightweight national champions, Cornell University. The Bison held level with the Big Red for the first quarter of the race, but fell off the pace. Based on their result the 1V would compete in the afternoon against Ithaca, and based off the morning times (6:34.2 to 6:34.8), on paper it looked like a close matchup. The Bison, however, had different thoughts. A strong first 500m saw Bucknell establish a length lead, which the crew held to the end, finishing just over 4 seconds ahead of Ithaca. The 1V was made up of Doug Burney ’16, Mike Savage ’19, Sam Jubb ’17, Billy Pinamont ’17, Jack Shelton ’18, John Leasure ’19, Dillon LaFata ’18, Ryan Thompson ’16, and was coxed by Perry Hamilton ’18.

The Second Varsity Eight started the morning against Michigan’s Freshmen Eight. A solid first half of the race for the Bison proved to be not enough against a talented Michigan crew, as the Wolverines rowed away to win the morning race. Bucknell would square off against Hobart’s 3V eight in the afternoon. Putting together a more disciplined showing, the Bison won by just over a length, and based on time would have been right behind Hobart’s 2V. The 2V was made up of Pat Long ’18, John Morcos ’19, Mike Pallotta ’18, Andrew Vinnik ’17, Duncan Ragland ’19, Thomas Marth ’19. Sam Wiley ’16, Lucas Colagrossi ’17, and was coxed by Henry Leonardi ’18.

The Third Varsity Eight had the most variation in racing, starting the morning competing against Cornell’s Fifth Varsity Eight. A very strong start from the 3V saw them hold an early lead against Cornell, but the Big Red’s second half rhythm proved to be too much for the Bison, as Cornell pushed out to win by just over a length. Their afternoon race was a rematch against Hobart’s Fourth Varsity Eight, who the 3V had previously raced in Charlottesville. Despite an increasing headwind, the 3V used a strong start to squeeze out a lead, then continued to push away, winning by about 2 lengths. The 3V was made up of Nick Barpoulis ’17, James Koenigsberg ’18, Christian Daugherty ’18, Jacopo Baldi ’19, Luke Goodwin ’18, Ryan Wang ’19, Gary Tse ’19, Mike Birosak ’18, and was coxed by Robert Bellantoni ’19.

The Freshmen Eight was excited for its first ever collegiate race, a contest they won easily over Ithaca. Their afternoon proved to be tougher, as they were scheduled to row against a strong Michigan Freshmen eight. A strong start saw both boats together through the first 500, but Michigan continued to push away in the middle half of the race to win comfortable. The freshmen eight was made up of Ryan McSherry ’19, Dave Ruf ’19, Dabreon Darby ’19, Andrew Stonnington ’19, Andrew Carstensen ’19, Kyle Shtern ’19, Alex Owen ’19, Grant Accurso ’19, and was coxed by Nicole Finan ’17.

Also debuting in their first collegiate competition was the Freshmen Four. The morning saw the freshmen hang with an experienced Cornell crew, before ultimately falling to the Big Red. The afternoon saw a matchup against Michigan, and despite finishing behind the Wolverines, the Bucknell crew was much improved. The Freshmen Four was composed of Gunnar Vorwerk ’19, Chris Bowdler ’19, Nick Paray ’19, Nick Huang ’19, and was coxed by Emilee Bae ’18.

The Bucknell Men will compete next week on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, PA, against Temple and St. Joseph’s Universities. We hope to see everyone there!