June 4, 2008
Baltimore, Md. - The Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) has granted the Loyola men's crew team two entries in to the 106th annual National Championship Regatta. Loyola will race the Varsity 4 with Coxswain, and the Men's Pair. Racing takes place Thursday through Saturday, June 5-7 at the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J.
The men's team has been training for the opportunity since the end of the semester while awaiting confirmation of acceptance. According to Head Coach Al Ramirez, a core group of men's team members and three women were willing to stay after the semester's end to test various athletes against each other as well as discern the fastest line-ups and combinations available.
On Wednesday the men's rowing team will bring eight of their top rowers to the men's national championship: Devin Marsicovetere, Marc Hesse, Cody Kishur, Zach Reichenbach and Genevieve Dalton will compete in the four. The pair selection is narrowed down to Tom Bellew, Jack Vitanovec and Maciej Owsianny. Sheila Marsicovetere has trained as the alternate coxswain.
This will be the fourth pair accepted for the men since 2000 and the second Varsity 4. Loyola's top finishes here include a Grand Finale 6th place finish in 2003, and a 7th place finish in the pair in 2000, as well as a win in the 3rd Finale (13th place) in the frosh four of 2006. Last year the Varsity Four raced well in the initial time trial, tying with Navy, and finishing just 0.3 seconds behind Delaware, 1.2 seconds behind St Josephs in the time trial, but were then eliminated in their next semifinal round.
Coach Ramirez feels that last year's boat was capable of more and also feels this year's four entry is capable of quite a bit of racing success.
"Our fitness scores are better than they've ever been for the guys racing this week. We say `Ergs (fitness scores on a machine) don't float', because technique and the ability to mesh with your crew counts for so much at this race," said Ramirez. "But four of our people have experience racing at this regatta, two of them have raced a four here for the past two years and that will help out. It's a real cauldron out there. Everyone here is fast in every category, so the slightest balk or mistake -- 2 or 3 strokes out of 220 during the race--can end your day."
The Men's Pair's first round heat is a `who's who' of great teams--Harvard, Yale, Brown, Loyola College and Loyola Marymount. Imagine playing the best teams in the country simultaneously. "It will be a challenge for sure, but I wouldn't bet against the Greyhounds just yet," says Ramirez.
The race course is off of Cuthbert avenue at the intersection of Route 70 and Route 38.Daily results at www.Row2k.com and information can be found at IRA Championship results.