The Kerr Cup was established in 1967 by a group of Drexel University alumni in honor of former Drexel rowing coach, Dr. Thomas Kerr Jr., who started the Drexel rowing program. Kerr was an Olympic competitor himself, and served as the Dragon’s coach from 1957 to 1968.
On the men’s side of the competition, the winners receive the Dr. Thomas Kerr Cup, and victorious women receive the Lela H. Kerr Cup in honor of Mrs. Kerr, in recognition of their respective success on the Schuylkill River.
Traditionally, the Kerr Cup has been a successful regatta for the Drexel University crew teams, and this year’s outing was no exception.
Drexel snagged both trophies April 18, with the men’s varsity eight taking the Dr. Thomas Kerr Cup for the fifth consecutive year, and the women’s varsity eight taking the Lela H. Kerr Cup for the fifth time in the past six seasons.
The men’s varsity eight faced stiff competition from second and third-place finishers, George Mason University and Bucknell University. But Drexel finished 12 seconds ahead of George Mason, easily defeating the Patriots.
For the women, the race was a little tighter. Drexel finished just six seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, Temple University. Other contenders included Villanova University, Washington College and Fordham University.
And it wasn’t just Drexel’s varsity eight boats that had great success at the regatta. In addition to taking both of the cups, Drexel took home six additional gold medals on the day, and five other top-three finishes.
The women’s second varsity took home gold, edging Lehigh University by seven seconds. Another gold medal on the women’s side came from the varsity pair, who beat Rutgers University-Camden.
On the men’s side, the second varsity eight picked up a first-place finish of its own. The men’s freshmen four also came away with a gold medal, cruising past Loyola University with a 12-second margin.
The men’s varsity four took gold by a tight margin of less than five second, just outlasting State University of New York Maritime College.
Finally, the men’s freshmen eight A took a first place, and their second place counterpart was none other than Drexel’s freshmen eight B, another boat placing for the Dragons.
Other top finishes included second place medals for the women’s freshmen four, and the women’s freshmen eight. The women’s varsity four rowed into third place.
The men’s varsity pair A took third place while the men’s varsity B took fourth.
In total, all of the boats that advanced to finals the next day placed fourth or higher, marking a total of thirteen top three finishes on the weekend.
The Kerr Cup was the first of three consecutive races that Drexel will row at home in the next three weeks. On April 25, the Dragons will take the Schuylkill again for the Bergen Cup Regatta. Following, on May 8-9, the Dragons will face one of their toughest races of the season, the Dad Vail Regatta.
The Bergen Cup, along with last weekend’s Kerr Cup, will be important in seeding for the Dad Vail, and theoretically, the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships.