The Drexel University men’s rowing team travelled to Boston to take part in the Head of the Charles Regatta Oct. 20. Drexel sent two teams to the regatta — a men’s four who raced in the Dan Lyons and a men’s eight, racing in the Krall II.
The event is the world’s largest two-day regatta. A total of 66 events were spread over the weekend, featuring a grand to- tal of 2,263 teams. The events that Drexel teams competed in moved toward the end of the event, soon after the prestigious Championship events, which featured teams from across the world, including England, Germany and the Netherlands.
On a cloudy day in Boston, the men’s eight was the first Drexel team to race, at around 2:30 p.m. They competed in a field of 38 teams, drawn from across the United States and featuring two teams from col- leges in China. Drexel was one of three Philadelphia colleges to participate, alongside Temple University and Saint Joseph’s University. Going into the event, the team was looking to get ahead of their local rivals.
Coxed by senior Hunter Reed, the Drexel men’s eight had rowers from all over the world. Three of the eight hailed from Serbia: freshman Dimitrije Ibrocic, sophomore Damjan Lazic and senior Dimitrije Regodic.
Drexel made a fast start, placing eighth after the first stage and just seven seconds behind leaders Hobart College. However, in Weld, the second and longest stage, they faded slightly, eventually overtaken by Notre Dame to place in 11th going into the third and final stage.
In the third stage, they recovered excellently to end the race in ninth place (14:55.896) — a strong showing in a 38-team field. Drexel finished just half a second and one position behind local rivals Saint Joseph’s (14:55.304,) with Temple placing sixth (14:46.230).
The men’s collegiate eight was won by the team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a river they are sure to be very familiar with. The MIT team finished with a time of 14:25.901, three seconds clear of runner ups, Marist College (14:29.120) and half a minute ahead of Drexel.
Three-quarters of an hour after the men’s eight took to the river, the Drexel men’s four competed in their race. Theirs was a slightly bigger field with 40 teams. As you can probably imagine, with four men doing the work of eight in the previous race, the times for the men’s four were slower than for the men’s eight.
The team was coxed by junior Thomas Kish, with freshmen Alister Virkler and Herbert De Cokere joining sophomore Brandon Kintish and junior Anthony Williams as the rowers in competition on the day.
As with the eight, the Dragons men’s four made a very fast start, racing up to third place two-and-a-half seconds behind leader Orange Coast after the first stage. However, they unfortunately failed to have the stamina to keep this high position, placing eighth after the second stage and then recording the second-slowest time of any team in the final stage to finish in 17th with a time of 17:09.676.
While this may seem like a disappointment given their quick start, the Drexel team showed their ability to get off the blocks quickly and nevertheless finished in the top half of the standings. The race was won by the University of California Los Angeles in a time of 16:19.035 — they would have been disappointed not to have won considering how far they traveled to compete.
Drexel men’s rowing could not follow their success from last year’s Head of the Charles regatta, where they won the silver medal in the Men’s Collegiate Eight. However, they finished in a very creditable position in both races and should be pleased with their day’s work.
The team returns for two regattas next weekend — the hometown Head of the Schuylkill Oct. 26 and the Princeton Chase in Princeton, New Jersey, Oct. 27.