Oct. 18, 2004
Fairfax, Va. - Loyola's men's novice four boat, stroked by freshman Pat Hickey, overcame a new lineup and a late arrival to the course to finish third of eight at the season-opening Occoquan Chase held Sunday on the Occoquan River in Fairfax, Va.
The Greyhounds' team vans were delayed en route to the race course due to an accident on I-95, but the men's novice four team seemed unfazed by the complication as they went on to defeat crews from Georgetown, Virginia Commonwealth (VCU), Virginia, and Duke, much to the pleasure of Loyola Director of Rowing, Al Ramirez.
"The racing experience of Hickey and freshman Bill Fusco really helped this boat," said Ramirez. "Considering the new lineup and the stress of the late arrival, this was a great effort."
The other men's four that was entered in the event recorded a nice showing as well, thanks largely to women's crew standout Kathryn Gallagher.
Gallagher, who is the current stroke of Loyola's women's varsity-eight boat and was instrumental in helping guide the Greyhound women to the 2004 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) title, hopped in with the men on Saturday and stroked them to ninth out of 16 in the men's open four.
Fueled by Gallagher's extensive racing experience, Kathryn and the men finished just one second short of creating a three-way tie for seventh place. This boat did manage to defeat crews from Johns Hopkins, George Mason, Washington College, and the University of Maryland.
Less than one hour after stroking the men's novice four, Hickey returned to action along with Loyola senior co-captain Rob Von Hagen to lead the men's varsity eight to an eighth place finish out of 18 teams. Ramirez called this field a "very strong" open eight field, but the Greyhounds proved up to the challenge as they upended solid crews from Georgetown, George Mason, Virginia, Duke, William and Mary, and the University of Maryland.
On the women's side, Loyola produced a very nice race in the open four as Colleen Johnson and Caitlin Welch teamed to lead the Greyhounds to a decent performance against crews from Georgetown, Maryland, Virginia, Hopkins, Mary Washington, and multiple D.C.-area clubs.
The Greyhounds' women's eight was severely affected by the late arrival to the course as they missed their warmup and were even late for the start. This caused great confusion among race officials and by the time Loyola finally did start, they thought they weren't being timed. However, the Greyhounds fought through the distractions to a 10th-place finish out of 15 teams and a time of 18:18.
Despite the disappointment, the teams Loyola beat included VCU, Duquesne, and Thompsons Boat Center. In addition, the Greyhounds know that they will improve upon the time it took them to complete the course, according to Ramirez.