The freshman rowers really stepped up this past weekend, Oct. 8, as both the Men’s and Women’s Novice Eight boats placed second at the Navy Day Regatta on the Schuylkill River — the men clocked in at 12:32.25, finishing behind first-place Navy, and the women recorded a time of 14:44.37 behind the University of Pennsylvania. The Drexel crew team had a good showing overall as they prepare for the Head of the Charles, the largest three-day race in the country.
“It was great to see the freshmen perform the way they did,” Head Coach Paul Savell said. “They have been really strong all year and they continue to prove that we have a bright future at Drexel.”
The Men’s Varsity and Second Eight both finished fifth in their races in a very competitive field of top boats — the varsity boat crossed the finish line at 12:45.12 behind two Navy boats, a Temple boat and UPenn boat, while the second eight clocked in at 12:49.57 behind three navy boats and one UPenn boat. The Navy Day Regatta was the first big race of the year for the team after a strong opening race at the Rumson Boat Race. The Varsity Eight was coxed by Randall Lee and included Aleksandar Radovic, Lorenzo Albala, Kurt Linton, Vanja Busic, Michael Faust, Brian Timlin, Sebastian Ryan and Patrick McGann.
“We can still get a lot faster, and we will get a lot faster as the year goes on,” Savell explained. “We continue to work hard and have had high tempo practices to try to improve our speed. We will tone it down a bit before the next race, but our speed will get better.”
The Women’s Varsity Eight, coxed by Kerry Walsh, included Julia Jackson, Emily Coyle, Juliana DeMarici, Alexa Antonioli, Elizabeth Bratton, Megan Bush, Mollie Cusack and bow Samantha Cowan, had a strong third-place finish at 14:34.38, behind only Navy and UPenn.
“The women were great last weekend,” Savell said. “I was really excited to see how well they performed and how much speed they showed.”
The Women’s Scond Eight also finished well with a second-place finish behind UPenn at 14:23.64. The advantage this team has is the extreme depth they have displayed. All three boats on both the men’s and women’s sides are very fast and constantly challenge each other.
“We have such great depth on the roster, and it is cool to watch unfold in practice,” Savell said. “The Second Eight will challenge the Varsity Eight and try to take seats on the boat. The competition is great because we can switch spots on the boat at any time, and everyone wants a seat on the varsity boat.”
The team has been trying to improve its late speed in the race and the finishes of their races.
The coach is confident they will do so and that they will have a strong fall leading into the competitive spring season.