Bucknell Crew Announces Year End Rower and Coach Awards

Each year Bucknell Men’s Crew recognizes certain individuals at the end of the year banquet in Georgia following the ACRA regatta. Here are the year end awards that were given out Memorial Day weekend this year.

Kicking things off were the 2016 National Invitational Rowing Championship Academic All-Americans. Recipients had to hold a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above through the fall semester. Receiving recognition were Ryan Thompson ’16, Nicole Finan ’17, James Koenigsberg ’18, Pat Long ’18, Christian Daugherty ’18, Perry Hamilton ’18, and Emilee Bae ’18.

Ryan Thompson ’16, Nicole Finan ’17, James Koenigsberg ’18, Christian Daugherty ’18, Perry Hamilton ’18, and Emilee Bae ’18 were also named to the ACRA All-Academic 2nd Team (athletes holding a cumulative GPA of 3.5-3.84 through the spring semester). A big congratulations to our academic award winners this year. It is to be noted that freshman are not eligible for the NIRC or ACRA academic awards, as the team had many freshman rowers who met the gpa requirements as well.

The first athletic award of the year was the 2016 NIRC All Stewards Team. Coaches are able to nominate one student-athlete per program for additional recognition as a member of the NIRC All-Stewards Team. This recognition is left to the discretion of each institution’s coach to provide another level of recognition for a deserving member of their program. This award goes to captains, outstanding oarsmen and women, team leaders or other key contributors of their respective program. Junior co-captain, and two-year member of our Varsity 8, Billy Pinamont was Bucknell's 2016 NIRC All Stewards Team member.

Bucknell also had four rowers who were named to the 2016 ACRA All-Region Team Selections for this award are made by the chairperson of the Mid-Atlantic region based on 2000 meter testing scores, performance of their crew, career racing results, accomplishments and leadership within their team, individual performances and coach recommendation. Doug Burney ’16, Ryan Thompson 1’6, Billy Pinamont ’17, and Sam Jubb ’17 were recognized at the regatta during a larger ceremony, and again at our year end banquet. It was later announced the Billy Pinamont was named to the 2016 ACRA All-American Second Team. Additionally, Head Coach Dan Wolleben was named the ACRA Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year.

Bucknell Men’s Rowing hands out several team awards at the end of the season as well. The first team award was Freshman of the Year. This award is generally given to one individual who makes a large impact within the freshman class and on the team. Looking back on the history of the program, and particularly the last 10-15 years, the coaches could not find many years when there were two freshman in the varsity 8. Because of that the coaches had a hard time signaling only one freshman out with an award this year, and the Freshman of the Year award was given to Mike Savage and John Leasure. It was also later announced that John Leasure was named to the 2016 ACRA All-Freshman team.

The next team award was Sophomore of the Year. The coaches awarded Dillon Lafata the 2016 Sophomore of the Year. Dillon has shown tremendous improvements over his two years at Bucknell, and his dedication to the program is evident in the work that he puts in to help the program improve. We are excited to see Dillon continue to improve as a junior and senior.

As many of our rowers quickly realize, we are not one of the biggest teams out there when it comes to our athlete size. But our Junior of the Year is a perfect example of how size doesn't always matter. Junior Nick Barpoulis claims to be 5'8" and 145 pounds, probably full clothed and soaking wet. Nick actually came back from being abroad in New Zealand this fall and talked to the coaches about becoming a coxswain. He said he wanted to do whatever he could to help the program, and he thought his best avenue to help the top boats was as a coxswain. So the coaches said ok, and he coxed on the Orlando training trip in January. After returning Nick wanted to erg with the team to stay in shape. It soon became obvious to the coaches that Nick probably wouldn't be coxing after he continued to PR on the erg week after week. Nick's drive, determination, and competitiveness are qualities that show through on a daily basis, and are qualities that can outweigh size and weight. Nick ended up stroking our 2nd Varsity 8 through most of the spring, and we look forward to seeing him back in a boat, rowing as a senior next year.

The team Senior of the Year award went to Doug Burney. Doug is one of those guys that has a great story through his four years at Bucknell. He started as a novice rower, and showed continual improvement during his four years as a rower. He has won medals at major championships, and been a leader on the team. And as a senior Doug only stepped up his game, improving on the erg, improving on the water, and making the jump into the Varsity 8, where he spent the entire year.

The final award of the banquet is the Founder's Trophy, which is awarded to the athlete that best exemplifies the core values sought after by the Coaches, Parents and Alumni of the program. The winner for 2015-2016 is Sam Wiley. Sam served as team captain for the 2015-16 campaign, while also maintaining a high gpa, starting his own business with classmates, and sometimes even competing in ballroom dancing! Sam was also one of the most adaptable athletes in the program, racing and training on both port and starboard. The coaches also view Sam as a coach within the program, always offering help to younger or more experienced rowers, always to help the team develop. Maybe we'll even see Sam in a launch coaching next year on the Susquehanna, as Sam will go into his fifth year at Bucknell as he finishes a duel major program in Engineering and Management next year.

The last announcement that we have is for the upcoming 2016-2017 season the team named two new captains. Serving as Captain will be Mike Pallotta ’18, and serving as Co-Captain will be Dillon LaFata ’18. The prospects for 2016-2017 look very good as team depth is set to improve upon the successes of 2016 with a strong incoming freshman class and very deep veteran leadership. We look forward to seeing everyone back in August!

The Coaching Staff would like to thank those graduating from the program Doug Burney, Nate Coffin, Ryan Thompson, and Sam Wiley for a great four years.