April 11, 2010
PENNSAUKEN, N.J. - The Saint Joseph's men's rowing team competed at the Knecht Cup on the Cooper River, in the Varsity 8, 2nd Varsity 4, Freshman 8 and Pair events, facing most of the top Dad Vail and ECAC teams. The Knecht Cup has become a huge event with Heats, Semis, and Finals over two days, providing a format similar to the Dad Vail Regatta.
The crews competed in less than ideal conditions with winds up to 30 mph.
With a revamped lineup due to injuries, the Varsity 8 had to go from a port-stroked boat to a starboard-stroked crew and had only three days of practice in this configuration. But the Hawks made a great push in the heat to beat out Rutgers for a spot in the Semis. The Hawks drew a semifinal that was even tougher than the heat and finished sixth, sending SJU to the Petit Final. In the Petit SJU faced Marietta, La Salle, Hobart, Fordham and Army, and despite keeping pace in the first 1,000, lost pace in the third 500 to finish sixth.
"Despite the injuries and lack of personnel (due to separate lightweight schedule), the guys responded extremely well and really overcame adversity against very difficult competition," said Hawk coach Drew Hill.
The Freshman 8 won their heat comfortably and finished second to Virginia in a barnburner Semi to advance to the Grand Final. In the Grand Final, SJU couldn't find the pace and finished sixth. "We were disappointed, but know that we possess the speed to post a better result," said Hill.
The 2nd Varsity 4 and Pair both posted solid results despite lack of practice together and cold and windy conditions. The V4 had a final only and the Hawks were outsprinted in the last 200 meters to finish fifth. The Pair finished second in their heat and finished fourth in the Semis. In the Petite Final the Hawks took second place.
"These boats only had a couple of days to prepare for the weekend due to some injuries and will only get better from here," said Hill.
LIGHTWEIGHTS TRAVEL TO NEW ENGLAND
DERBY, CONN.- Saint Joseph's Lightweight crews traveled to Connecticut and Massachusetts on the weekend and got a quick introduction to the speed of the Sprints League. The #9 Hawks dropped the first race in Derby, Conn. to #11 Dartmouth and #10 Delaware. In the Lightweight 8, Delaware took the top prize followed by Dartmouth and SJU. On the Freshman side, Delaware was eliminated for a buoy violation and Dartmouth won the race with the Hawks second.
The crews then traveled north to Boston to take on #2 Harvard and #5 Georgetown. Harvard's Lightweight 8 defended their home course by winning the events followed by Georgetown and SJU. The Hawks battled some chop but rowed well in their second race of the weekend.
"It was great for us to see the speed in the EARC with our own eyes. We didn't take any races this weekend, but we learned a lot about where we need to go. This was a valuable weekend for the Lightweights as well," said Hill.
Next up for the Hawks' Heavyweights is the SIRA Regatta on April 17-18 while the Lighweights will compete at Princeton with Cornell on Saturday.