For the second straight weekend, the Drexel University crew team dominated on its home water.
The teams captured the Bergen and the Kelly Cups, respectively, at the Bergen Cup Regatta on the Schuylkill River April 25.
Both the first and second varsity eight boats, on the men’s and women’s sides, took first-place finishes over the weekend.
The women’s first varsity eight demolished its next opponent, defeating Villanova University by more than nine seconds. The men’s varsity eight boat commanded its victory similarly, beating Temple University by just over eight seconds.
Similar to the Kerr Cup, the eight boats weren’t the only ones taking top finishes. The men’s freshman four took first place, and the men’s freshmen eight A and B took first and second places, respectively. Also taking a second-place medal was the men’s varsity four boat.
“We couldn’t be happier, really,” head rowing coach Paul Savell said of the team’s immense success over the past two weeks.
“We thought the team overall did an outstanding job, they really performed to the level we knew they could,” Savell continued. “We see it everyday at practice, and training, what they’re capable of, and then to put it out there on race day the way they did was really positive.”
Savell has been impressed with the total amount of highlights that the team has accumulated recently, but was specifically happy with the performances of the women’s varsity eight and the women’s freshman eight.
“I thought the women’s varsity eight this past weekend really showed the work they’ve been putting in this year,” Savell said. “We’re really striding out with some top speed.
“Our women’s second eight taking that close win this past weekend also was good to see. It was good to see they had that sprint to finish. It was like a photo finish,” Savell continued proudly.
Savell was also eager to note that in the past two weeks, the leadership of the upperclassmen has been key.
“[The captains] have stepped up big time as far as leadership goes, trying to push for extra practices, and kind of just taking control of their own destinies, really throughout the team,” Savell noted.
He specifically mentioned the leadership on the men’s side, with captains Marko Durica, Brian McCabe and Grigorios Papadourakis.
“They are just driven,” Savell said.
Savell believes competing at home has also definitely been a part of the team’s success over the past few weekends.
“Our early season is a bit more traveling, and it takes a little toll here and there,” Savell said. “I think now that we’re back on the home course we know it well, and it’s good to get ourselves rested up for Dad Vails.”
The Dad Vails are one of the highlights, if not the most hallowed highlight, of the spring crew season. The Dragons have been working hard to prepare for this race in particular, in large part because they’re the reigning champions, two years running.
“Not only is [sic] our varsity and second eights more consistent, but we also have fours and pairs that are getting honed in on Dad Vails as our goal,” said Savell, explaining that the Dragons have begun splitting up into specific boats for the race.
“Every boat matters, and every boat counts as points towards the team total, and we want to get after that,” he said.
The Dad Vail Regatta will be held on the Dragon’s home course, the Schuylkill River, the weekend of May 8-9.