Bucknell visits UVA for Classic ACRA Duel

In a year where races – even practices – are scant across the IRA & ACRA, last Saturday rekindled an old friendship between two of the fastest club teams in the country: the University of Virginia and Bucknell. Both programs have experienced their fair share of hurdles and setbacks over the last 12 months, but nevertheless have been able to stay motivated, keep active in some capacity and field competitive boats. In the eyes of a few upperclassmen, this matchup represented the 2021 ACRA National Championship. But for the freshmen and sophomores (roughly 60% of the team), who had not yet competed against any of the fastest club programs, this race finally revealed to them the standard for medal-contention within the ACRA. While UVA won each event, Bucknell drove back to Lewisburg in good spirits, licking their chops over the program’s potential 1-2 years down the line. For the races to have been as competitive as they were, speaks volumes to the resilience of this team despite the bouts with contact tracing, pauses throughout the year and inexperience among younger guys in top boats.

The 3rd Varsity 8+ set an aggressive tone early, crossing the 500 with an open water lead. That advantage, however, gradually shrunk. Crossing the halfway point, the 3v was level with the lead UVA crew, attempting to maintain contact for as long as possible. Inside the last quarter of the race, UVA executed its sprint as planned and took off. Given the depleted state of the boat due to contact tracing and some last-minute lineup rearranging, the guys were satisfied with the battle they were able to put up.

UVA 3v – 6:24
UVA Freshman – 6:30
Bucknell 3v – 6:36

Next the 2nd Varsity 8+ had its go at UVA. Like the 3v, the 2v had a blistering start, propelling ahead of UVA by a few seats at the 800. Crossing the 1000, UVA found a new gear and edged forward by a few seats themselves. Bucknell clung onto the slightest of contact entering the final 500, but UVA pulled away again with its shift up in rate.

Virginia 2v – 6:20
Bucknell 2v – 6:26

The final duel was an absolute barn burner from start to finish. Through the first 1500, the Bucknell 1st Varsity 8+ traded haymakers with the UVA 1v. Both crews refused to budge. Consistent with the other UVA crews, their 1v shifted at 500 left to pull forward by four seats. From there until the finish line, they extended their lead to about a length.

Virginia 1v – 6:18
Bucknell 1v – 6:22

Varsity 8 – 2018 Resolute Midweight XT
Coxswain: Max Silverman ’22
Stroke: Phil Onffroy ’22
7: Andrew Viola ’24
6: Bobby Subak ’21
5: Davis MacKelcan ’22
4: Zach Gerhardt ’24
3: Kevin Carney ’24
2: Thomas Stone ’23
Bow: Jake Bardorf ’23

2nd Varsity 8 – Class of 1985
Coxswain: Izzy Mersky ’24 & Ben Kaller ’24
Stroke: Cameron Baravalle ’24
7: Nathan Peot ’24
6: Luke Lambropoulos ’24
5: Christian Sieck ’22
4: Taylor LaRosa ’21
3: Jack Ressler ’24
2: Dominic Canale ’24
Bow: Aaron Swope ’22

3rd Varsity 8 – Scott Uebele ’00
Coxswain: Emma Minadeo ’23 & Brody Mistrot ’21
Stroke: Ethan Laurens ’22
7: Brent Mankin ’23
6: Brian Skeels ’23
5: Jackson Ingram ’21
4: Mason Cametas ’23
3: Cian Nowak ’22
2: Sebastien Bickford ’21
Bow: Dan Van Syckle ’23