Crew Closes Fall With Improvement

Nov. 11, 2007

Philadelphia. Pa. - Head Coach Al Ramirez's Greyhounds raced on the familiar Schuylkill to wrap up their fall season this past weekend. Competing for this first time in almost a month, the crew raced in the Frostbite Regatta on Saturday and Bill Braxton Regatta on Sunday.

While the crew team found the Frostbite to be a challenge, the `Hounds were able to keep their focus and race well on Sunday. Loyola's improvement between Saturday and Sunday's races was a good send-off going into the semester break.

The women's Varsity 8 felt like they had a strong weekend all around. The crew consisted of Nicole Yeager, Nina McHugh, Michelle Ernst, Kelly McDermott, Daisy Carter, Meghan Fregeau, Nell O'Connell, Liz Staub, and coxswain Christine Drennan.

The boat felt they had a solid race and gained momentum as the weekend progressed, racing the Frostbite course in a time of 7:23.52, where the `Hounds were bested by 3rd place Binghamton by ten seconds. The Loyola women were able to outdistance 5 th place La Salle, however, by eight seconds.

The crew continued to feel strong on Sunday, racing the Braxton course in 5:38.32 and taking 4th. While the crew were beaten by 3rd place Hiawatha Island Boat Club by nine seconds, the `Hounds did defeat Sacred Heart and Temple B by eight and nine seconds, respectively. University of Rochester won the race with a time of 5:19.76 with Dowling coming second by seven seconds.

"We were a little scared that the lack of racing would affect this crew's performance," said Drennan, the Senior co-captain. "The girls have really worked hard over the past month and their improvement showed in their smooth rowing. These races will give us important momentum into the offseason."

Two crews that drastically improved over the weekend were the both the men's Varsity 8 and Junior Varsity 8. The Men's Varsity 8 consisted of Devin Marsicovetere, Marc Hesse, Dennis Delaney, Jack Vitanovec, Nick Miano, Daniel Reardon, Cody Kishur, Zach Reichenbach and coxie, Laura Fischer. The crew labored on Saturday, rowing the 2k course in a time of 6:29.16.

Sunday, however, was a different story for the men's Varsity 8. In a very competitive race, Loyola rowed the 1,500 meter course in a time of 4:48.73. While the crew once again took 4thplace, they were in a harder heat. The aggression, power and focus were exponentially better, and for the first 500meters, the crew hung with powerhouses such as Temple, who won the race with a time of 4:28.09 and Colgate who came second by only 0.11 seconds with a time of 4:28.20. The `Hounds held onto the ECAC champion Ithaca and finished the race only eleven seconds behind Ithaca's 3rd.

"The guys really showed improvement from Saturday to Sunday," said Fischer, the men's Varsity 8 coxswain. "The guys really cleaned their technique up and you could tell that they were really pushing themselves. The first 500 meters may have been one of the fastest we've seen in the fall season at Loyola."

The men's JV 8 also had a rocky start on Saturday. While they were able to beat La Salle by 10 seconds on Saturday, the crew felt like they did not row as well as they had the day before. The JV 8+ took 3rd place with a time of 6:34.67. The boat consisted of Matt Spalluzzi, Mike Mikula, Jonathan Searls, Travis O'Neill, Maciej Owsianny, Alex Canale, Dan Keenan, Josh Tarini and coxie Genevieve Dalton. The Loyola men were merely six seconds behind 2nd place Delaware.

Similar to the MV8, the men's JV 8 also felt that they significantly improved rowing the Braxton course in a time of 4:53.55, falling to 2nd place Wildcat Rowing Club by four seconds but beating University of Scranton by 25 seconds. University of Rochester won the race with a time of 4:39.73.

"The difference between Saturday and Sunday was like night and day," said Spalluzzi, the senior captain. "While some would have been discouraged by Saturday's results and may not have wanted to race on Sunday, this crew was anxious to get back on the water and prove what we have been working for all fall."

"While the two Varsity Men's 8s may have been shell-shocked after Saturday, they impressively rebounded for Sunday, showing where they actually stand competitively," said Coach Ramirez. "On the same note, it was pleasing too see how the Women's Varsity 8 rowed both days, showing the coaching staff how hard they have been working. All of these crews have many young rowers that must continue to improve so that the whole crew can compete in our championship season."