"It's a bitter result, to miss advancing by so little. In the end, we were where we wanted to be, in a seat for seat race to the line," said head coach Joel Furtek. "That our sophomore crew came up short is understandable, but no easier for the racer to accept."
The Canisius College rowing team made its second appearance at the Knecht Cup on Saturday afternoon in Camden, N.J. along the Cooper River. The Golden Griffins' Varsity Eight placed fourth in their respective heat, missing the semifinal cut by a mere half a second out of second and third place.
In the first heat of the Varsity Eight race at the Knecht Cup, Drexel captured the top spot with a time of 6:52.29 followed by George Mason (6:59.18), Bucknell (6:59.20), Canisius (6:59.75), and Delaware (7:07.11). Among the six total heats, the first heat was the most competitive with only 15 seconds separating the first crew from the fifth crew.
"My hat really goes off to the Bucknell crew who made a huge error at the start but raced all the way down the course to nip us at the line," said Furtek. "Drexel managed to outpace us in the body of the race for a solid win and George Mason showed a lot of guts to edge us out at the line."
The Griffs' Varsity Eight included junior Lynna Paradiso, senior Stephanie SanFilipo, junior Nancy Kennish, junior Liz McKinney, senior Bridget Laszewski, freshman Nora Kennon, senior Monica Klenk, sophomore Liz Reinwald, and freshman coxswain Hannah Blum.
The Varsity Eight field included 34 crews from the Big East, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), and Conference USA. Capturing the top time in the Varsity Eight opening round of competition was Northeastern with a time of 6:44.90.
"As disappointing as it may be to miss the semifinals, as a coach I have to be heartened by the speed we've shown and by the crews we are matching - our time would have qualified us in two of the heats and we matched up within seconds of ACC and Big East crews," said Furtek. "Our time was the fastest of the MAAC [Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference] crews racing today - of course we'll all be pressing for still more speed in the coming weeks."
Among the four MAAC crews competing in the Varsity Eight race, the Griffs posted the fastest time of 6:59.75. In the fourth heat, conference-affiliate Robert Morris finished sixth with a time of 7:36.85. The sixth heat featured a pair of MAAC opponents going head-to-head, as Fairfield placed fifth (7:07.34) followed by Marist in sixth (7:13.36).
"There's no letup for our crew, with MAAC affiliate Robert Morris coming to the Fontana Boathouse next week, and then what we all expect to be a barn-burner of a race at the MAAC Championships on April 27. Our women will take today's great racing lessons home with them and get right back to building speed!"
The Blue and Gold will host Robert Morris and D'Youville in the Black Rock Cup at the Frank Lloyd Wright's Fontana Boathouse on April 20.