The Drexel men’s and women’s crew teams continued their early-season success in Lewisburg, Pa., Oct. 5 as the Dragons dominated their races against Bucknell University and Lehigh University.
The Drexel crew teams proved to be faster and stronger than their opponents, taking all five events on the Susquehanna River.
The women continued their perfect start to the fall season by sweeping their events for the second straight week. The women’s first varsity eight cruised to a first-place finish in 20:46, which was 50 seconds ahead of second-place Bucknell. The winning Maria Papadakis boat consisted of coxswain Kerry Walsh, stroke Olivia Babiec, Elizabeth Daugherty, Marina Forster, Samantha Cowan, Kayla Wroblesky, Amanda Kleuser and bow Elise Levito.
The women’s second varsity eight finished their race 10 seconds ahead of Lehigh to secure the victory. The Marlene Buckley boat finished with a time of 21:16 and was made up of coxswain Catherine Hamilton, stroke Tori King, Colleen Delaney, Emily Gartland, Kendall Wenzke, Barbara McKenna, Alyssa Leahy, Stephanie Thomas and bow Julie McGlynn.
The women’s third varsity eight continued Drexel’s dominance, as they also stopped the clock at 21:16 to secure the win. Bucknell’s freshman eight finished second with a time of 21:21. The John Daskalakis shell was coxswained by Sarah Messenger and featured stroke Amanda O’Malley, Sierra Baca, Taylor Brady, Lauren Sand, Gabby Salcedo, Christina Alleva, Crystal Xu and bow Julia Iannucci.
Assistant coach Denise Julian believes the format of the event gave Drexel a competitive edge, and they took full advantage.
“The format was good for this group of women because it kept them competitive the whole time,” she said. “The staggered start kept it competitive because there was always a boat to come up on and race.”
On the men’s side, it was much of the same for the Dragons. The men’s top varsity eight stopped the clock 20 seconds ahead of Bucknell to earn first place. Coxswain Victoria Kenion, stroke Sebastian Ryan, Ivo Krakic, Mikulas Sum, Vanja Busic, Ian Luetzow, Nicholas Capaldi, Daniel Palombo and bow Michael DiLucca made up the Joseph Greipp shell, which finished with a time of 21:16.
In the men’s second race of the day, it was once again all Dragons. The men’s second and third varsity eight finished the race first and second, respectively, with only 10 seconds separating the two shells.
The second varsity eight boat finished with a time of 19:07 and consisted of coxswain Marc Smith, stroke Ryan McSpedon, John Pieper, Marko Durica, Cameron Staines, James Byrne, Dave Hanrahan, Matt Gehret and cox Casimir Czworkowski.
The men’s third varsity boat, which finished at 19:17, was made up of coxswain Christopher Henderson, stroke Dean Hill, Xavier Stanish, Christian Ladd, Ryan Mallgrave, Mahmoud Shurbaji, Leif Malm, Grigorios Papadourakis and bow Brian McCabe.
The Drexel crew teams will be back on the water Oct. 12, when they will take to the Schuylkill River for the Navy Day Regatta. The race will be the Dragons’ toughest test of the season, as they will face off against a wide array of talented teams.
“We need to focus on staying with our game plan and race strategy,” Julian said about the team’s upcoming races. “I think this weekend is our first shot at seeing where we are in a broader spectrum of other colleges.”
Drexel’s strong start will surely be put to the test Saturday.