The Saint Joseph’s men’s rowing team heads into the 80th Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta as the top seed in two events, the Varsity 8 and the Second Varsity 8, with racing set for Friday and Saturday, May 11-12 on the Schuylkill River.

Racing for the nation’s largest collegiate regatta begins at 7:00 a.m. The heats and time trials will be contested on Friday with the finals taking place on Saturday. Live streaming of the races will be available on WATCH

The Hawks are looking to end a long gold-medal drought in the Varsity 8, having last won that title in 1970. In 2017, Saint Joseph’s earned a silver medal in the event, for the Hawks’ highest finish in the top race since 1999.

This year’s crew has won all four of its races, including its second consecutive Bergen Cup. Saint Joseph’s will seek gold with the lineup of: c- Jenn Reynolds; 8- Jack Darling; 7- Riley McGwin; 6- Garren Best; 5- Kjel Schlemmer; 4- Thomson Rymer; 3- Claudio Recchilungo; 2- Justin Hawkins; 1- Dave Gee.

“Just because we’ve won all of our regular-season races doesn’t mean that we don’t have to earn it in the championship. It’s a completely new season now and it’s a championship season so if we want to finish on top we have to go earn it,” said seventh-year head coach Mike Irwin. “We’ve done the things we’ve needed to get to this point so it’s a question now if we can live up to the moment and execute the way that we have been.” 

“It’s obviously been a very long time since we’ve had a crew win the Dad Vail. They’re well aware of that and people are hungry to see that change. Even our alums from 1970 have sent emails and texts and they want to see a change. There’s a lot of good energy and good momentum, but there are also a lot of good opponents so nothing is going to be easy for us.”

The Third Varsity 8 is the defending Dad Vail champion and has also earned a top seed for the regatta. The Hawks finished in the top two of all four races, including a win in the Bergen Cup. Saint Joseph’s lineup will be: c- Courtney McDonnell; 8- Jason Peacock; 7- Rob McCullough 6- Patrick Ganter; 5- Collin Petersen 4- Mike Thompson; 3- Gavin O'Connor; 2- John Thompson; 1- Jansen Kachel

SJU’s Second Varsity 8 is also defending its Dad Vail title won last year. The Hawks are seeded fourth, posting a win in the Murphy Cup. Saint Joseph’s boating is: c- Fiona Conway; 8- Mike Geoghegan; 7- James Hammerstedt; 6- Joe Sullivan; 5- James Hammerstedt; 4- Justin Aikens; 3- Andrew O'Connor; 2- Josh Bostrom; 1- Mike Fedele

The Hawks are also entering the Freshman 4 with a lineup of: c- Alex Mayo; 4- Nate Tobey; 3- Harris Beckmeyer; 2- Jack Yeager; 1- Robbie McElligott.

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