The Canisius College rowing team opened its season Saturday at the Southern Methodist Invite.
The Griffs’ first strokes of the day came against Creighton, with the Blue and Gold taking second in the Varsity Four and Varsity Eight, and third in the Second Varsity Eight.
The Griffs followed that up in the afternoon against SMU, taking third in the Varsity Four against the Mustangs, then second in both the Varsity and Second Varsity Eights.
Head coach Joel Furtek was encouraged with his team’s improvement from the morning to the afternoon races.
“We can see improvement already from each time down the course, with our varsity eight leading the way,” Furtek said. “We're never happy with a loss, but it was a better race and an important step forward. The four and second eight each had better rows that were marred by technical failures that kept them out of competitiveness. It's clear that it has been too long since we held an oar in hand. The unusually harsh winter is holding us back, but we're hungry to apply our power. Water time is what we need, desperately, and fortunately, it's what we have in front of us. We're thankful to Creighton and SMU for the racing experience and look forward to seeing SMU again when we head to the Knecht Cup in April.”
Even after the races in the morning, both Canisius Varsity Eights managed to shave time off their morning races. The Varsity Eight completed the course in 7:12.00 against SMU, eight hundreths of a second faster than in the morning vs. Creighton, while the Second Varsity Eight shaved just under eight seconds off its morning time. The Varsity Four posted its best time against the Blue Jays, finishing in 8:27.83.
“We had quite a wake-up call this morning,” Furtek said. “I'm proud if the five novices in our four, who fared pretty well. They have some technical changes to make and I look forward to big improvements. The 2V8 never really got into the race and didn't bring the result they were capable of. It's a disappointment that has to serve them well as a lesson, and quickly.”
"The V8 got off well and was racing as expected but when the challenge came, we responded individually rather than as a boat, and Creighton rowed a great race to put us away. Overall we rowed as we should expect - like it was our third time on the water since last Fall.”
Canisius will now finally have some time on the water, staying in Dallas, Texas for the week to train before heading to Austin for next Saturday’s Longhorn Invitational on the campus of Texas.
Varsity Eight: Amber Giambone, Molly Murphy, Corrine Kickel, Julie Sciandra, Liz McKinney, Nora Kennon, Allison Braun, Bridget Lazewski, coxswain Hannah Blum
Second Varsity Eight: Megan Walsh, Mikaela Braun, Liz Reinwald, Chanel Davis, Nicole Littlejohn, Ashley Tylenda, Liz DelBarba, Meghan Martin, coxswain Jordan Bamrick
Varsity Four: Jenni Vinci, Lauren Bielby, Jordan Szustak, Erin Grim, coxswain Kaitlyn Taylor