The Drexel crew team completed its 2012-13 season by sending the men’s team to the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships May 31 through June 2. The Dragons finished 19th overall in the team standings with 21 total points.
In the varsity eight race, Drexel finished second in the fourth final with a time of 6:00, just behind Dartmouth University’s time of 5:59. Coxswain Marc Smith, strokes Kurt Linton, Vanja Busic, Aleksandar Radovic, Lorenzo Albala, Sebastian Ryan, John Pieper Michael Faust, and bow Casimir Czworkowski led the Lois Krall shell just ahead of the College of the Holy Cross, Gonzaga University and the University of California, San Diego.
Also among Dragon performances was the Vince Vidas boat. That group consisted of coxswain Christopher Henderson; strokes Daniel Dollin, Mikulas Sum, Nicholas Capaldi, Michael DiLucca, Dave Hanrahan, Daniel Palombo Daniel Pyle, and bow Lawrence Lindawan. They finished sixth in the petite final, a few seconds behind the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s first-place finish time of 6:06. Also finishing ahead of Drexel were the United States Naval Academy, Princeton University, George Washington University and Dartmouth College.
Entering the IRA Championships, the men’s freshman eight had been undefeated throughout the spring season.
Finally, the men’s varsity four finished fourth in the third-level final with a time of 6:56. Drexel sent the LeBow College of Business boat, guided by coxswain Victoria Kenion and powered by strokes Marko Durica, Cameron Staines and Ian Luetzow along with bow Ryan Mallgrave. Jacksonville University won the race with a time of 6:49.
The IRAs wrapped up what was a tremendous season for the Dragons and head coach Paul Savell. In addition to competing at the IRA Championships, Drexel won the Kerr Cup and swept the all-Philadelphia Bergen and Kelly cups. The highlight of the Dragons’ season was winning the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta.
“This has been the most successful season we have ever seen,” Savell said. “It was fulfilling to see all the hard work from the program pay off.”
He attributed much of his team’s success to leadership. Although the roster was filled with several freshmen who joined coming into the season, the team still featured many veterans; the Dragons had a total of 13 upperclassmen on the team. Many of them were major contributors all season, including Smith, Radovic and Linton.
Another key was Drexel’s drive, work ethic and preparation leading up to regattas. Savell praised the hard work of his team all season, not just going into the final week. It was simple; Leadership and hard work were the two ingredients that led to their tremendous season.
“We had great leadership and commitment this year, which translated to boat speed,” Savell said.
If they want to match or exceed their great season next year, the preparation and work cannot let up. Though the season does not begin until September, the time to build toward a championship begins now. Savell is sharing that attitude and approach with his returning team members to motivate them for even greater things next season.
“They say champions are made during the offseason,” he said.
Savell said the Dragons will not practice as a full team during the summer. Instead, he is relying on his players to train and prepare on their own. He is sure that the returning members will be motivated for next year.
Look for the Dragons to show off the improvements they make during the offseason when they return to the water in the fall.