Bucknell Men finish 7th overall at 2016 ACRA National Championship

The Bucknell Men traveled down to Gainesville, GA over Memorial Day weekend to compete at the 2016 ACRA National Championship on Lake Lanier. Competing was the largest squad in Bucknell history, with 3 eights and 2 fours making the trip south. While hot, conditions were otherwise close to perfect.

The varsity eight was the first crew up for Bucknell, needing a top two finish to move directly to the semi-finals and avoiding the rep. A slow start got things off to a rocky start and the 1V finished in a difficult 5th place. With their backs against the wall the 1V pushed a talented BC crew all the way to the line, promising a 2nd place finish in the rep and moving them onto the semi-finals. A great race against a tough field saw the Bison finish in 5th place in the semi-final. The 1V would later get a hard fought 4th place in the B final, good for 12th overall. The 1V was rowed by Ryan Thompson ’16, Doug Burney ’16, Mike Savage ’19, Jack Shelton ’18, John Leasure ’19, Dillon LaFata ’18, Billy Pinamont ’17, Sam Jubb ’17 and was coxed by Perry Hamilton '18.

The second varsity eight started the regatta with a strong result, finishing in second place behind Michigan in their morning heat. This automatically qualified them for the grand final, avoiding a repechage in the brutal Georgia heat. After looking at the morning times, the 2V decided that instead of racing conservatively and trying to place in the middle of the field, they were going to go for broke and earn a podium position. Flying off the line the 2V had an early lead and was still in contention for a medal heading into the final 600 meters. But their brave first 1000 meters would catch up with them and the 2V would fall back to 7th overall. The 2V was rowed by Nick Barpoulis ’17, Sam Wiley ’16, Pat Long ’18, Lucas Colagrossi ’17, Mike Pallotta ’18, Nate Coffin ’16, Christian Daugherty ’18, James Koenigsberg ’18, and was coxed by Henry Leonardi ’18.

The freshmen eight started themselves out on the wrong foot, finishing in 4th place in their morning heat. This meant they would have to race in the afternoon rep, with only the winner advancing to the final. Trailing in the last 500 meters to UConn and the University of North Carolina, the Bison were able to lay out a great sprint, which saw them earn a bid to the final. In retrospect, rowing in the rep was the best thing for a young crew in need of a little more race experience. In the final the freshmen laid out a great race, likely their best of the year, but would finish in 7th in a very strong freshman field. The 1F was rowed by Alex Owen, Duncan Ragland, John Morcos, Dabreon Darby, Thomas Marth, Andrew Stonnington, Ryan McSherry, David Ruf, and was coxed by Nicole Finan.

The second varsity four won their morning heat, advancing them directly to the final. A strong start saw the Bison hold with the field, but as crews got into the second half the top three began to pull away. The 2V4 would still hold off the rest of the field, to earn a 4th place finish. The 2V4 was rowed by Jacopo Baldi ’19, Ryan Wang ’19, Luke Goodwin ’18, Mike Birosak ’18, and was coxed by Robert Bellantoni ’19.

The final boat to race was the lightweight freshmen four. The morning heat saw the crew fight to find a consistent rhthym, but the boat still recorded a 3rd place finish, which was good enough to qualify them for the grand final. The lightweights fought hard in the final, but the field proved strong, and they would finish in 6th place. The lightweight freshman four was rowed by Gary Tse, Gunnar Vorwerk, Nick Huang, Nick Paray, and was coxed by Emilee Bae.

The Bucknell Men would like to thank all of our parents, friends, alumni and families for their support during the 2015-2016 season. The athletes and coaches will now take some well deserved time off before beginning anew in August. We look forward to seeing all of you back in the fall!