Women's Novice Eight Wins Gold At Bill Braxton Regatta

Nov. 15, 2004

Philadelphia, Pa. - Loyola's women's novice eight boat, stroked by Maria Giangiullio, finished in first place after rowing a time of 5:21.62 at Sunday's Bill Braxton Regatta held on the Schuylkill River.

The following is a recap of the day's events as told by Loyola Director of Rowing, Al Ramirez:

Conditions were again very cold with a slight tailwind. We received very solid results from the women's eight's as we wrapped up the Fall race season in high style --- with gold medals.

The women's novice eight boat, stroked by Maria Giangiullio, won convincingly over Temple's A-boat. Temple finished 8.8 seconds behind us and the Owls were followed by Saint Mary's, Rochester, Penn State and Old Dominion. Loyola's novice-B boat finished third behind Rochester A and Temple B. They beat old dominion, Scranton and Binghamton.

In an amazing sidebar story, we found out that, Loyola's own Maria Giangiullio, the stroke of the novice-A boat, is actually the niece of Bill Braxton, the former Marietta College lightweight rower after whom the regatta is named. Braxton's family members at the dock were happily surprised and pleased to present the medals to one of their own. We're sure that somewhere Bill is smiling with family pride.

The varsity women's eight also produced one of the highlight wins of the day. Rowing very well, the Greyhounds topped Stony Brook, Temple-B, and Binghamton en route to the third fastest women's time of the day, 5:04.8. In other races, which weren't directly comparable to ours due to the floating start line and changing conditions, Drexel rowed a 4:59.3 and Temple's A rowed a 5:01.48.

Our men's eights struggled a little bit more today than the women despite strong efforts. The novice men's boats finished third and fourth in their races. The A boat finished behind Temple and Ithaca, just 2.5 seconds behind the winner while The B boat finished behind St Mary's, Binghamton, and Rochester while beating Scranton.

The varsity four finished fourth behind Rochester A, Penn State and the Greater Dayton Rowing Club. Loyola's new line-up was stroked by Nick Kiniry, but was the same at bow through seat-three.

The varsity eight men struggled in their race, finishing behind strong crews from Colgate and Temple to take third place. In an unusual move, the Greyhound coaches flipped the stroke pair in an attempt to improve the catch-timing of the boat overall. Rob Von Hagen, who stroked last year's varsity-four, attempted to bring the men's eight together. In the end, our young crew of two freshmen, four sophomores, a junior and a senior, put out a game effort, rowed very hard, but was unable to solidify its technique, and was outgunned by the other two incredibly powerful crews.

Loyola's varsity women experimented with a new stroke in the four. They finished second behind Penn State and beat Scranton, Old Dominion and Bishop Eustace's Alumni Club Team, which is a strong squad led by Loyola alum Amy Winner

All in all, it was a good day of racing. Although we are left with some questions on how to squeeze all of the potential speed out of our talented team, the coaches are positive about the spring outlook and look forward to the challenging and intriguing puzzle with which we are faced.