The Canisius College rowing team fell to Central Florida on the final day of the Longhorn Invitational on Sunday.
The Knights took all three races, with the Varsity Eight, which was comprised of freshman Amber Giambone, sophomores Molly Murphy, Corrine Kickel, Julie Sciandra and Nora Kennon, seniors Lizabeth McKinney, Allison Braun and Bridget Lazewski, and sophomore coxswain Hannah Blum, keeping it closest. The Griffs finished in 7:12.5 – their fastest time down the course of the weekend – but it wasn’t enough to overcome the 6:59.7 time from UCF.
"We knew coming into this regatta that we were racing bigger, faster, more experienced crews,” said head coach Joel Furtek. “We're not a 'matchup' sport, so you don't see upsets like you do in basketball. The goal was to see speed to match speed, and to come out of the weekend faster for it. I'm proud that we increased our competitiveness over the weekend and finished with the tightest margins today against a motivated and fast UCF crew.”
The Varsity Four raced first once again on Sunday. Freshmen Jenni Vinci, Lauren Bielby and Jordan Szustak, sophomore Nicole Littlejohn and freshman coxswain Kaitlyn Taylor finished the 2,000-meter course in 8:31.04 – four seconds faster than their time Saturday night. The Knights Varsity Four came in at 7:44.70.
"It's been a long hard trip for our crew, with five races in our first 10 days on the water. We've certainly exposed our weak points and I'm excited to attack them with our team when we return to Buffalo and our regular racing season,” Furtek said. “We'll see our conference foes in 2 weeks and will get a chance to race against UCF and SMU again the following week, so we can gauge progress as we get more time on the water. Our youth makes every row a great opportunity to get better.”
The Second Varsity Eight of freshmen Mikaela Braun, Chanel Davis, Erin Grim and Liz DelBarba, sophomores Megan Walsh and Ashley Tylenda, junior Liz Reinwald, senior Meghan Martin and sophomore coxswain Jordan Bamrick, raced to a time of 7:33.51, 34 seconds behind the UCF crew.
Sunday’s races bring a close to Canisius’ 10-day trip to Texas, which saw the Griffs’ compete five times (twice in Dallas and three times in Austin) as well as getting their first practice time on the water this season.
"For now, we're good tired and ready for some rest, and a little Texas BBQ,” Furtek said.
Canisius will return to action April 5, at the Sacred Heart Invitational.