The Drexel University men’s and women’s crew teams both had strong performances at the 2013 Knecht Cup April 13 and 14 in Cherry Hill, N.J. A total of 11 boats reached the final day of competition for the Dragons. The men performed at a high level as the varsity eight, second varsity eight and novice eight each took gold in the grand finals. The women were also impressive in their competition, as their varsity eight earned a second-place finish in the third final and the second varsity eight took home bronze in the grand final.
The men’s varsity eight took home the gold in the grand final with a 5:56.77 finish. The first-place Lois Krall shell featured coxswain Mark Smith along with stroke Kurt Linton, Vanja Busic, Aleksandar Radovic, Lorenzo Albala, Sebastian Ryan, John Pieper, Michael Faust and bow Casimir Czworkowski. The Dragons outlasted Hobart University and the University of Delaware, who finished second and third, respectively.
The men’s second varsity eight followed with a first-place performance of their own with a time of 6:07.10. Victoria Kenion coxswained the winning Joseph Greipp boat, which also featured stroke Marko Durica, Milos Rujevic, James Byrne, Ryan Mallgrave, Ian Luetzow, Christian Ladd, Grigorios Papadourakis and bow Brian McCabe. Temple University came in right behind Drexel, while Trinity University took third place.
The men’s novice eight continued the Dragons’ success by earning a first-place finish in their grand final, stopping the clock at 5:59.48. Coxswain Christopher Henderson, stroke Daniel Dollin, Mikulas Sum, Nicholas Capaldi, Michael DiLucca, Dave Hanrahan, Daniel Palombo, Daniel Pyle and bow Lawrence Lindawan took the Vince Vidas boat to victory.
Medals continued to come for the Dragons as the varsity four “A” shell took bronze in the grand final, finishing with a time of 6:51.53. George Mason University took first place at 6:46.16, while Rollins University came in second with a time of 6:50.52. The LeBow College of Business boat was coxswained by Diana Fox and also featured stroke Mahmoud Shurbaji, Jake Murphy, Ryan McSpedon and bow Matt Gehret.
The varsity pair took home bronze for the Dragons in the final, posting a time of 7:24.85. Villanova University took home first place with a time of 7:14.94, and Philadelphia University finished second at 7:23.49. Timothy Drake and bow Cameron Staines were featured in the Julia Grace boat. Head coach Paul Savell was pleased with the men’s team but still wants his rowers focused on preparation for future competition.
“We are happy with what has been accomplished so far this season, but not complacent,” he said about their performance so far. “Having the men sweep the eights was a great accomplishment. We enjoyed it for a day and then got back to work and focused on Dad Vails.”
On the women’s side, the second varsity eight earned a bronze medal in the grand final, finishing at 6:51.65. First place went to Northeastern University at 6:47.20, while The University of Kansas earned second with a time of 6:48.02. Catherine Hamilton coxswained the Maria Papadakis shell, which also included stroke Elizabeth Campanella, Emily Gartland, Olivia Babiec, Sierra Baca, Kayla Wroblesky, Alyssa Leahy, Tori King and bow Elise Levito.
In the third final, the varsity eight came in second place right behind Old Dominion University at 6:57.83, while the Monarchs won with a time of 6:52.18. Coxswain Kerry Walsh, stroke Julia Jackson, Elizabeth Daugherty, Jayme Batcher, Mollie Cusack, Amanda O’Malley, Bridget Pfeifer, Amanda Kleuser and bow Colleen Delaney were featured in the Marlene Buckley II boat for the Dragons.
The novice eight just missed a medal, finishing fourth in the grand final with a time of 7:07.78. The fastest time was posted by the University of Wisconsin at 6:58.10. Boston College, at 7:00.97, took silver, with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill rounding out the top three. The Marlene Buckley shell was coxswained by Rachel Bowen and included stroke Rose Ehrlich, Julie McGlynn, Caitlin Bubel, Rebecca McCool, Jordan Marinchak, Elisabeth Wagner, Taylor Brady and bow Kate Wilchek.
Savell was pleased with the way the women applied their training and earned some hard-fought success. “We have really been focusing on our top eight this week, and they are hitting a good stride,” he said.
The varsity four rounded out the competition for the Dragons, placing first in the petite final with a time of 7:59.21.
Drexel Crew will return home April 20 for the Kerr Cup Regatta, when the boats will take to the Schuylkill River for the first time since April 6.
“We are very excited to be back on our home course hosting the Kerr Cup, which is named after Drexel’s first rowing coach,” Savell said. “We are expecting to perform well as we prepare for Dad Vails.”