April 14, 2008
Baltimore, Md. - Senior Spalluzzi's lightweight four started the day against Fordham, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Maryland and St Mary's. The crew raced strongly and kept up with a tight pack through the first 3rd of the race. Fordham and St Mary's edged out for a bow-ball to bow-ball battle each other. Fordham held a 0.3 second gap for the win. Loyola lacked the power to keep up with these two through the second 1000m of the race but still but still managed to drop the hammer on Maryland and Cinci for a convincing third.
The womens varsity four led by Yaeger kept up the Loyola onslaught, finishing second behind the Villanova crew they had beaten the previous afternoon. They topped UNC, Penn State, Dusquesne and Tulsa in their second final.
"This was a great finish for our women, despite not quite getting the win. We finished ahead of crews from some great programs, and much deeper programs. I'm sure the ladies enjoyed the challenge immensely and the two second-year rowers in the boat have come so far in 4 months-it's encouraging for the future." said coach Ramirez
The mens four, continuing to test new line-ups and young athletes, was led by second-year, Miano. The crew knew Saturday night that they would be going into a dogfight with some very fast crews from Colgate, and the top three finishers did not disappoint. Finishing in 4th just 1.5 seconds back from Marrietta, and a little more than 5.5 seconds behind Colgate B, the Hounds did a fine job battling in conditions that were quickly becoming quite challenging. Although the Colgate A boat made it look easy, a strong tailwind was raising a rolling chop on the waters surface, making it difficult to release the oars, and requiring finesse and skill over raw power. The Hounds brought power to the event too. Our all time 2k fitness score leader, second-year Hesse, showed us what he is capable of as he continues to gain skill.
According to the head coach: "We hope to continue to challenge schools such as Colgate-a small school program that has shown it can race with the big teams in recent years-but we need to improve our depth tremendously"
"We'll definitely need to get more committed athletes into the program this year and next if we hope to keep pace with the likes of Colgate and Drexel though. Based on the walk-on frosh team's virtual evaporation this year, it seems the average Loyola male is not up to this sort of challenge. We need more young guys that want to achieve something noteworthy"
In the men's 2V8's another new lineup led by 2nd year Delany was tried. Although 4 of our 2V rowers are lightweights, including a frosh and a second-year rower, the boat won it's heat and went in optimistically. The 2V squad held its own in the first 850m of the race against athlete-rich powerhouses Temple, Colgate and Drexel. At the 850 mark, the big three started to pull away at an unmatchable pace, leaving Loyola to battle Boston College and Maryland.
The Hounds kept the pressure on as much as possible but in the end gave away a 1.8 lead to Boston College, taking 5th. According to Jack Vitanovec, who rowed the 5 set, "the race was good, and the power was steady throughout" . Captain, Spalluzzi, felt that he race had a few rough spots and could have been more balanced, but that the 6 of 8 athletes doing two events and 4 races in 2 days might just have been feeling the heaviness of fatigue. Overall the guys felt good about their boat and the two results it posted
In the premiere race the day, the Men's Var 8 competed in the B final against a very closely matched field that included Loyola, Boston College, Bucknell, Rochester, UNC and George Mason. The race was hotly contested all the way down the course with the first 1200 meters of the race being essentially even across all six lanes. BC fell off pace first while UNC, Loyola, and Rochester charged for the win. Bucknell in hot pursuit would not go down easily. The hounds slipped briefly into fourth as UNC brought on the final sprint early.
Once the Hounds opened the throttle though, they chased down UNC and had the lead going into the last 8-10 strokes if the race. Amazingly, UNC found another gear and slipped their bowball out in front of the Hounds just before crossing the line--a 0.4 second win with photos revealing it to seem even closer. Rochester took 3rd a mere 0.6 seconds later.
Many of the guys remarked on the difficulty of the tailwind conditions and the possiblity of rowing a bit cleaner in the chop, but none were disappointed with the row.
"We were proud to be part of such a great boat race" said Al Ramirez, "Getting past these tough athletes at the Dad Vails Championships won't be easily done. This race will force us to stay on the grindstone, and we hope to make more speed in the next couple of weeks."