Bucknell Puts 5 Crews in Grand Finals at Knecht Cup - Freshman 8 Silver

The Bucknell Men competed in their third regatta of the 2016 season this past weekend, April 9th and 10th, at the Knecht Cup on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, NJ. Saturday conditions were less than ideal, with temperatures hovering above freezing, and driving rain. Eventually some of the racing on Saturday afternoon was postponed to Sunday. Despite cold temperatures, racing resumed the next day and the Bison enjoyed a great day of racing.

The varsity eight displayed a great deal of resiliency in both their heat and semi-final. The young crew had poor starts in both races, but managed to recover both times and use a strong middle thousand to put themselves in a position to advance. In their heat Hobart would take and hold an early advantage, Bucknell found themselves in an early 5th place, before methodically advancing back through the field. The Bison pushed out to a half-length lead then held off Trinity and Rhode Island to move onto the semi-final. In the semi the Bison found themselves in a similar position, but found the same solid rhythm that pushed the boat into 3rd place. Bucknell again held off a hard charging crew from Rhode Island to move on to the final. The final again saw Bucknell start slowly and they never quite fell into a solid rhythm. The 1V would finish in 6th place with a time of 6:20, under 5 seconds behind Marietta. The 1V was made up of Sam Jubb ‘17, Mike Savage ‘19, Doug Burney ‘16, 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 featured some of the closest racing of the regatta, in both of the two heats the time between 1st to 4th places was around 4 seconds. Bucknell had a strong start, pushing out to a quarter length lead over the field. Through the middle portion of the race crews from Marist, Boston College, and Army started to push back up level with the Bison, and with around 700 meters to go 4 crews were level, fighting for 3 qualifying spots. The 2V couldn’t quite hold onto the pace, finishing in 4th place, just over a second behind Army, which sent them to the petite final. The Bison again started strong, moving out to a slight lead on the field over the first 500 meters. Trinity started to push back up through Bucknell, and St. Joseph’s kept putting pressure on the Bison’s stern. A strong final sprint from Bucknell held off St. Joseph’s, but could not catch Trinity. Bucknell would finish with a time of 6:19.1, 3 seconds off Trinity. Rowing in the 2V were Pat Long ’18, John Morcos ’19, Nick Barpoulis ’17, Andrew Vinnik ’17, Duncan Ragland ’19, Thomas Marth ’19, Sam Wiley ’16, Lucas Colagrossi ’17, and was coxed by Henry Leonardi ’18.

Due to the lack of a specific event, the third varsity eight raced in the Club Eight category against a mix of varsity, second varsity, and third varsity eights. The Bison won a very tight heat, sprinting through Boston College in the last 100 meters and holding off a hard charging Pittsburgh crew. Racing in the final later that day, the Bison had a strong start but could not keep pace with the lead three crews, despite distancing themselves from 5th and 6th. Bucknell would finish in 4th place with a time of 6:40.9. The 3V was made up of Christian Daugherty ’18, James Koenigsberg ’18, Nate Coffin ’16, Andrew Carstensen ’19, Jacopo Baldi ’19, Ryan Wang ’19, Luke Goodwin ’18, Mike Birosak ’18, and was coxed by Robert Bellantoni ’19.

The freshmen eight started their regatta off with an easy win in their heat, beating Delaware’s B boat by 9 seconds to advance to the semi-finals. In the Semi the 1F had a poor start, and saw themselves slip to 4th place. The crew managed to calm down (and like their varsity counterparts) found a strong pace through the middle portion of the race. They established a comfortable margin over the 3rd place crew, to finish in 2nd and advance to the final. The final saw a similar experience where a nervous young crew did not start well, but after calming down fell into a solid pace. Delaware held off the Bison to win the final by 4 seconds, but Bucknell used a strong sprint to keep a 3 second advantage over Rhode Island, and finished 2nd with a time of 6:14.7. This was the third time a Bucknell men's freshman 8 has finished 2nd at the Knecht Cup. The Freshmen Eight was rowed by David Ruf, Alex Owen, Andrew Stonnington, Dabreon Darby, Kyle Shtern, Ryan McSherry, Grant Accurso, Gunnar Vorwerk, and was coxed by Nicole Finan.

The freshmen four had their best performance of the year, despite some early bad luck. The top three crews from each heat would move on to the semi-finals, with the next 3 fastest times advancing as well. The Bison finished in 4th place in the heat, but would actually finish with the 5th fastest time of the morning, so the frosh four moved on. In the semi the frosh went out hard and high, and established a lead over the field, which they held until the last 20 strokes of the race. Army’s sprint was just a bit too much, and the Bison would finish second by .2 seconds. Still, they advanced onto the grand final. The final saw some very close racing, in the last 500 meters the whole field was within a length of each other. Unfortunately the Bison could not quite keep the pace and finished in 5th place with a time of 7:22, just 6 seconds off of first place. The freshmen four was rowed by Gary Tse, Chris Bowdler, Nick Huang, Nick Paray, and was cosed by Emilee Bae.

Athletes from the 1F, 2V, and 3V also doubled up to race in a lightweight four, which rowed in a straight final on Sunday. The Bison moved out to an early lead on the field, but experienced crews on their first race of the day soon closed that lead and pushed away from Bucknell. The Bison could not quite pace with the main field, but held off a crew from Pittsburgh to finish in 6th place with a time of 7:21.3.  The varsity lightweight four was rowed by James Koenigsberg '18, Nick Barpoulis '17, Sam Wiley '16, Christian Daugherty '18, and coxed by Nicole Finan, coxswain from the freshman 8.

The Bucknell Men will be home next weekend to train, and will race again in two weeks’ time in a late season duel against Rutgers, in New Brunswick, NJ on the Raritan River. We hope to see everyone there!