Both the Drexel University men’s and women’s crew teams had strong showings in their last three competitions. Drexel advanced six boats to the finals March 30 at the 2013 Murphy Cup Regatta in Cherry Hill, N.J. The teams had a week between competitions before they took to the Schuylkill River April 6 for races against Bucknell University and Mercyhurst University. The Dragons took a combined five of six events on the day. They took the water only a day later when they traveled to Fairfax, Va., for the 2013 Occoquan Sprints, in which they advanced all six boats to the grand finals and finished in the top three in five of six events.
The men’s varsity eight boat began the day for the Dragons at the Murphy Cup Regatta and put in a strong performance on the Cooper River. The men’s top boat earned a silver medal in the finals, finishing with a time of 5:56.06, while the University of Virginia took first place with a time of 5:49.75. Coxswain Marc Smith, stroke Sebastian Ryan, Lorenzo Albala, Aleksandar Radovic, John Pieper, Kurt Linton, Ryan Mallgrave, Michael Faust and bow Casimir Czworkowski rowed the Annette Pennoni boat.
The men’s day on the water was highlighted by the performance of their novice eight, who earned the gold medal with a top time of 5:57:44. Coxswain Christopher Henderson, stroke Daniel Dollin, Mikulas Sum, Nicholas Capaldi, Michael DiLucca, Dave Hanrahan, Daniel Palombo, Daniel Pyle and bow Lawrence Lindawan rowed the Peggy Greenawalt boat to victory. The win featured the Dragons outlasting Virginia, the United States Military Academy, the University of Delaware and Williams University.
On the women’s side, the varsity eight boat earned the best result of the day, finishing with a time of 6:55.22 and earning a win in the petite finals. Coxswain Kerry Walsh, stroke Elizabeth Campanella, Alexa Antonioli, Amanda O’Malley, Colleen Delaney, Julia Jackson, Mollie Cusack, Olivia Babiec and bow Bridget Pfeifer made up the Marlene Buckley boat.
The women’s second varsity eight gave the Dragons another good showing, finishing third in the finals with a time of 7:03.65. The United States Naval Academy took home the victory, stopping the clock at 6:58.20, while the University at Buffalo finished in second place with a time of 7:03.92. Coxswain Sarah Messenger, stroke Amanda Kleuser, Elizabeth Daugherty, Jayme Batcher, Emily Gartland, Kayla Wroblesky, Alyssa Leahy, Tori King and bow Elise Levito proved to be the best boat in the event.
The Dragons had a week to prepare for their home races April 6 on the Schuylkill River against Bucknell and Mercyhurst. They showed they were well prepared to face their opponents, as they took five of the six events.
The men’s freshman eight took first place in their event, stopping the clock at 6:06.9. They were followed by Bucknell at 6:19.3 and Mercyhurst finishing in third with a time of 6:53.3.
Drexel then followed by taking the top two finishes in the second varsity eight event, stopping the clock at 6:05.9. The Dragons’ third varsity eight followed at 6:11.0. The winning Joseph Greipp boat was coxswained by Victoria Kenion with stroke Marko Durica, Milos Rujevic, James Byrne, Paul Wisniowski, Ian Luetzow, Christian Ladd, Grigorios Papadourakis and bow Brian McCabe. The Vince Vidas boat, which came in second, was guided by coxswain Diana Fox and also featured stroke Mahmoud Shurbaji, Dean Hill, Ryan McSpedon, Matt Gehret, Timothy Drake, Cameron Staines, Adam Cordi and bow Jake Murphy.
The fastest time of the day was posted by the men’s varsity eight at 5:53.6. Mercyhurst earned second place at 6:09.9. Coxswain Marc Smith, stroke Sebastian Ryan, Vanja Busic, Aleksandar Radovic, Lorenzo Albala, Kurt Linton, Ryan Mallgrave, Michael Faust and bow Casimir Czworkowski were featured in the winning Lois Krall boat for the Dragons.
The women also had their fair share of success in their events. The women’s varsity eight rowed their way to a second-place finish, crossing the finish line at 6:51.38. Bucknell finished just ahead of the Dragons, stopping the clock at 6:44.74. Kerry Walsh guided the Marlene Buckley II boat, which also featured stroke Elizabeth Campanella, Colleen Delaney, Kayla Wroblesky, Sierra Baca, Julia Jackson, Mollie Cusack, Olivia Babiec and bow Bridget Pfeifer.
The women’s second varsity event was dominated by the Dragons, as they took the top two finishes. The second varsity eight finished first with a time of 6:47.5 and were followed by the freshman eight, who stopped the clock at 6:59.0. The winning Maria Papadakis boat was coxed by Catherine Hamilton and also featured stroke Amanda Kleuser, Emily Gartland, Jayme Batcher, Elizabeth Daugherty, Tori King, Alyssa Leahy, Amanda Dargay and bow Elise Levito. Coxswain Rachel Bowen, stroke Rose Ehrlich, Julie McGlynn, Caitlin Bubel, Rebecca McCool, Jordan Marinchak, Elisabeth Wagner, Taylor Brady and bow Kate Wilchek made up the second-place Marlene Buckley boat.
The women finished the day by taking their last event. The varsity four “A” boat came through the finish line at a time of 7:51.1. The victorious Sandra Lee Sheller boat was guided by coxswain Sarah Messenger and also included stroke Amanda O’Malley, Elise Panacek, Kathie Cheng and bow Barbara McKenna. The varsity four “B” boat finished fourth for the Dragons at 8:16.4. Coxswain Ariana Kaufmann, stroke Alicia Hoy, Brogan Piecara, Olivia Carignan and bow Ashley Lidwell rowed the Dawn Byers boat.
The teams had a quick turnaround as they headed to Fairfax, Va., for the 2013 Occoquan Sprints April 7. The Dragons showed their talent as they advanced all six boats to the grand finals.
In the second heat, the men’s novice eight finished with the fastest time at 5:32.00. The men’s varsity eight clinched a spot in the grand final after finishing first in their opening heat with a time of 5:27.50. The Dragons finished second in the final right behind the University of Michigan in a close finish that saw Drexel stop the clock at 5:18.24 and the Wolverines at 5:15.80.
For the women, the freshman eight shell rowed its way to the grand final with the second-fastest time at 6:35.20 in the third heat. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill edged out Drexel for first with a time of 6:29.68. The Dragons outlasted Navy and Bucknell in the final but couldn’t find their way past Grand Valley State University or North Carolina, as they finished in third place.
In the second heat, the women’s second varsity eight earned the fastest time at 6:08.0 to put themselves into the grand final. The Dragons took second place in the final with a time of 5:51.17, as Navy earned first place with a time of 5:48.80.
The women’s varsity eight put in a time of 6:15.03 to earn the second-best time in the second heat to reach the grand final. Grand Valley State University crossed the finish line first at 6:14.00. The Dragons rowed their way to third place in the final as the Marlene Buckley II shell clocked in at 6:02.01. Navy, Bucknell and Temple University finished ahead of the Dragons in the top three spots.
Drexel Crew will have a short break before returning to the water Saturday, April 13, when they will travel to Cherry Hill, N.J., for the Knecht Cup Regatta on the Cooper River. The events will span two days and end on Sunday.