Loyola Rowers Show Improvement At Jesuit Invitational

March 26, 2007

Camden, N.J. - The crew team's 2007 Jesuit Invitational results show how much the team has grown since the event was held in Camden, N.J. last year. The most successful boat for the crew was the women's varsity for which took second place, sandwiched between first-place Villanova and third-place Holy Cross. On the men's side, the Varsity 8, Junior Varsity 8, and Novice 8 didn't get results, but showed drastic improvement from last year.

After missing the finals at the Murphy Cup the day before by 2.5 seconds, the women's varsity four had a strong row. The lineup consisted of coxswain Christine Drennan, Nicole Yaeger, captain Lauren Opalenski, Caitlin Haskins, and Meg Thompson.

"We tried a different line-up from what we rowed at the Murphy Cup and we really benefited from it," said Drennan, a junior. "We had a really great row, and I am really proud of the girls and the way they bounced back from the close race at the Murphy Cup."

The men's team, on the other hand, had a hard day, taking last in the Varsity 8, Junior Varsity 8, and Novice 8 races. However, there was a bright spot for Coach Al Ramirez and his men's team. Comparing this years regatta times to last years, the `Hounds have vastly improved in the two varsity categories.

The same V8 lineup that was successful at the Murphy Cup the day before of Coxswain Laura Fischer, Devin Marsicovetere, Kyle Sanphy, Tom Scida, captain Doug Brown, Ed Garnett, Jack Vitanovec, Cody Kishur, and Dan Reardon was able to shorten the 55 second deficit that it suffered against 1st place Georgetown last year to 34 seconds this year. Also, while the `Hounds did loose to 3rd place St. Joes by 18 seconds this year; it is much improved then the 47 second separation that was between the boats last year.

"Obviously the boys want to come out here and compete," said Fischer. "They had a very good first 500 meters, and hung with the rest of the crew, but then the fatigued settled in. They did race two pieces on Saturday at the Murphy Cup, and you could tell that they were worn down."

"The three years I've been here, we always benefit from racing these teams," said Brown, whose brother rowed at Georgetown. "They are very competitive nationally, and we see at the beginning of our season what its going to take to get to that level. Hopefully we can keep gaining on these strong crews year after year. Crews like Georgetown and Holy Cross are great models for our program. They are Jesuit schools with fast crews and good, smart kids."

Also gaining on the other crews was the 2V8. Rob Zdankiewicz coxed the lineup of Matt Spalluzzi, Tom Bellew, Nick Miano, Matt Butcher, Nick Kiniry, Kevin Murawski, Zach Reichenbach, and Alex Canale. While the crew lost to Georgetown by a full minute last year, they were able to shorten the separation to 47 seconds this year. The `Hounds also gained an amazing 43 seconds on the crew from St. Joes, shortening the 52 second deficit suffered last year to just 9 this year.

"This was a good first race for the 2nd Varsity 8 of the season," said Head Coach Al Ramirez. "This crew started slow last year, and at the end of the year, they were 3 seconds away from the grand finals at Dad Vails. We expect a lot more from our 2V this year."

The novice 8 crew of Miano, Marc Hess, Maciej Owisanny, Butcher, Dennis Delany, Travis O'Neal, Dan Keenan, Tom Berkery, and Zdankiewicz took last, struggling against the experienced high school rowers of the other crews.

"The majority of this boat has only rowed for half a year so far, compared to the other crews with kids who rowed for 3 or 4 years in high school," said Men's Novice Coach Drew Parassio. "They will improve as the season moves on. Novices improve with every stroke they take."