The Saint Joseph's men's rowing team got its season off to a flying start as the Varsity 8 earned a first-place finish in the Murphy Cup held on the Schuylkill River on March 25.


The Hawks' crew finished in 5:42.51, to beat Virginia, Holy Cross, Drexel, Temple and Bates. The winning boat was comprised of:  c- Caroline Bird; 8- Matt Ladd; 7- Keenan Perry; 6- Garren Best; 5- Riley McGwin; 4- Dave Wong; 3- Slam Dunkley; 2- Thomson Rymer; 1- Claudio Recchilungo.

The Second Varsity 8 was second to Delaware with a time of 5:46.83, with a crew of: c- Jenn Reynolds; 8- Eric Jones; 7- Joe Sullivan; 6- Matt Conlin; 5-James Hammerstedt; 4- Jack Darling; 3- Andrew O’Connor; 2- Devin Swech; 1- David Gee.

SJU also took second place in the Freshman 8 with a time of 6:14.51 to finish behind Temple, with a lineup of: c- Courtney McDonnell; 8- Mike Thompson; 7- Eddie Blackburn; 6- Patrick Ganter; 5- Sam Ferrizzi; 4- Joel Ridd; 3- Mark White; 2- John Thompson; 1- Jansen Kachel.

The Third Varsity 8 finished fifth: c- Fiona Conway; 8- Justin Hawkins; 7- Trevor Tuthill; 6- Matt Weiner; 5- Kevin Lichtenfels; 4- Justin Aikens; 3- Julian Palermo; 2- Rob McCullough.

"It was a big day for the Hawks. We had all four boats reach the Grand Finals, we earned three medals and captured our first Murphy Cup win in the Varsity 8 since 2005. This was a breakthrough regatta for the program. We felt good about our winter training but having strong team results at our opening race is something our seniors having been working towards for four years," said head coach Mike Irwin. "We need to be faster to meet our goals for the season. The level of competition at the Dad Vail keeps getting stronger. We have to get right back to work on Monday morning if we want to compete for medals in May."

Next up for the Hawks is a home dual meet with Georgetown on April 1 at 2 p.m.