The Canisius College rowing team swept Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC)-affiliate Robert Morris at the second annual Black Rock Cup on Saturday morning along the Black Rock Canal at the Frank Lloyd Wright's Fontana Boathouse. Facing driving winds, the Golden Griffins secured wins in both the Second Varsity Eight and Varsity Eight races over the visiting Colonials en route to the Black Rock Cup.
Despite the weather conditions for a late-April race, the Golden Griffins did not allow either the wind or cold to impact their performance. The day was riddled by winds of over 20 mph and temperatures in the low 30s after a beautiful week in Buffalo.
"I'm really proud of the way our women handled the conditions," said head coach Joel Furtek. "If you looked at them row, you wouldn't have known there was a 20 m.p.h.cold-wind resulting in rough conditions. I'm really impressed with how each boat handled it."
The Second Varsity Eight set the tone for the Griffs with a decisive win over Robert Morris to start the day. The Griffs recorded a time of 8:54.71 to secure a first-place finish followed by the Colonials' Second Varsity Eight (9:13.9) and Novice Eight (10:29.1).
"For the Second Varsity Eight, it was a great a chance to show its speed," said Furtek. "Robert Morris' Second Varsity Eight has done well against crews in the conference, where our Second Varsity Eight has taken time to jell. They picked the right day to finally come through. Their performance was probably the hallmark of the day."
The Griffs' Second Varsity Eight included senior Bridget Wodowski, senior Alyssa Eddy, senior Julia Roache, freshman Julie Sciandra, senior Allison Braun, senior Amanda Kielich, freshman Corrine Kickel, junior Meghan Martin and freshman coxswain Jordan Bamrick.
Tapping into the Second Varsity Eight's strong performance, the Griffs' Varsity Eight followed with one of their own to complete the sweep of the Colonials. The Griffs held over a 25-second lead against the Colonials in the head-to-head race, posting a time of 7:57.95. The Colonials finished the race with a time of 8:23.69.
With the victory over Robert Morris, the Griffs' Varsity Eight remains undefeated against MAAC crews this season through four spring races. The Griffs have captured conference wins over Marist, Loyola and Jacksonville, while posting a pair of wins over both Robert Morris and Fairfield.
The Griffs' Varsity Eight was comprised of sophomore Liz Reinwald, senior Monica Klenk, freshman Nora Kennon, senior Bridget Laszewski, junior Liz McKinney, junior Nancy Kennish, senior Stephanie SanFilipo, junior Lynna Paradiso and freshman coxswain Hannah Blum.
Given the weather conditions, the women's Varsity Four race of the Griffs versus local D'Youville was uncontested on Saturday afternoon. The race was competed on Monday, April 22 with D'Youville taking the top spot (8:53) followed by the Canisius Varsity Four (9:06) and the Second Varsity Four (9:35).
"Our Varsity Four was leading 400 meters in, when they caught an over the head crab and fell well behind," said Furtek.
The Griffs' Varsity Four included senior Katie Riley, freshman Emma Miller, freshman Megan Walsh, freshman Erica Mason, and sophomore coxswain Meagan Hayden The Second Varsity Four was freshman Audrey Mariacher, freshman Jordan Joly, freshman Angela Graves, sophomore Briana Chamberlain, and freshman coxswain Mallory Murdie.
The Blue and Gold will now prepare for their second appearance in program history at the MAAC Championship on April 26-27 in West Windsor, N.J.