The Drexel men’s and women’s crew teams opened their fall season in top form once again. For the third consecutive year, the Dragons took three out of four events at the Rumson Boat Race. This year marked the fourth annual regatta, which was held Sept. 28 on the Navesink River in Rumson, N.J. The regatta also featured crew teams from the United States Military Academy, Villanova University and Rutgers University.
The Dragons have had very similar results in the Rumson Boat Race over the past three years. Both women’s varsity eight boats were victorious for the third consecutive year, as they captured the Governor’s Cup and the Mayor’s Cup yet again. Meanwhile, the men’s varsity eight just missed out on recapturing the Governor’s Cup, but the men’s second varsity eight were able to improve upon their second-place finish a year ago and bring home the Mayor’s Cup.
The women’s varsity eight finished their race five seconds ahead of Army to secure the Governor’s Cup. The team consisted of coxswain Kerry Walsh, Kayla Wroblesky, Colleen Delaney, Marina Forster, Elizabeth Daugherty, Olivia Babiec, Sierra Baca, Stephanie Thomas and bow Elise Levito, which finished with a time of 10:19.
The women’s second varsity eight were dominant over their opponents, as they stopped the clock 43 seconds ahead of second-place Army to capture the Mayor’s Cup. The Marlene Buckley boat was made up of coxswain Sarah Messenger, stroke Amanda Kleuser, Bridget Pfeifer, Taylor Brady, Samantha Cowan, Emily Gartland, Alyssa Leahy, Elisabeth Wagner and bow Julie McGlynn, which finished with a time of 11:07.
Women’s assistant coach Denise Julian has been impressed with the women’s consistent early-season success and believes that the intrasquad competition and team depth are what allows them to be so successful.
“There is so much depth, and they are always pushing each other all the time,” she said. “We have only been on the water for three weeks at this point, but they come in off a hard two weeks of preseason and they are ready to race. They are excited about the season and they are race-ready.
On the men’s side, the races were decided by narrow margins, with teams fighting hard for every inch. In the men’s Mayor’s Cup, the second varsity eight finished ahead of Rutgers by seven seconds with a winning time of 9:27. The victorious Annette Pennoni boat featured Christopher Henderson, stroke Ryan McSpedon, Cameron Staines, James Byrne, Mahmoud Shurbaji, Brian Kissam, Ryan Mallgrave, Matt Gehret and bow Andrew Weinstein.
Director of Rowing and head men’s and women’s coach Paul Savell was pleased with his squad’s performance and the way they competed on the water.
“We don’t take competition for granted, so they were very excited about crossing the line first, especially in that atmosphere up there,” he said about the men’s Mayor’s Cup victory. “It was a really great atmosphere and a great day.”
The men’s varsity eight came in second place in the Governor’s Cup race, with Rutgers stopping the clock just six seconds ahead of the Dragons. The Joseph Greipp boat was coxswained by Victoria Kenion and also featured stroke Dean Hill, Casimir Czworkowski, Sebastian Ryan, Nicholas Capaldi, Marko Durica, John Pieper, Christian Ladd and bow Brian McCabe, which finished with a time of 8:59.
The Drexel men’s and women’s crew teams will be back on the water Oct. 5, when they will travel to Lewisburg, Pa., to face off with Bucknell University and Lehigh University on the Susquehanna River.
“We are still working through lineups and trying to find fast combinations of rowers in the boat,” Savell said of his team early in the season. “We are very excited about going out there because these teams that we are going to face this week are fast. We definitely need to be ready to go on race day.”