In the face of gusty winds and rain, the Canisius College rowing team completed its first varsity race on Saturday morning at The Head of the Genesee held along the Genesee River in Rochester, N.Y. In the 3.1-mile course, the Golden Griffins' novice eight finished in fifth while the open eight finished tenth.
"As the first time down the course representing Canisius College, none of us is going to be happy competitively because we all wanted to do better but to get our first time down the course it was a great day for us," said Canisius College rowing head coach Joel Furtek of the team's performance. "Four weeks in we've taken our first racing opportunity and made the most of it."
Finishing in fifth, the novice eight was comprised of junior Jenn Williams, freshman Meagan Hayden, junior Amanda Kielich, junior Jordan Hagenbuch, senior Jessica Leemans, freshman Shannon Tierney, junior Bridget Laszewski, junior Stephanie SanFilipo, and freshman Alexandra Haar as coxswain.
"Our novice eight must be proud of their fifth place showing among 13 crews despite the loss of their stroke to an injury earlier in the week and the resultant changes," said Furtek.
Rowing to a tenth place finish in the open eight race were junior Kathleen Riley, sophomore Alexandria Dickson, junior Samantha Robinson, senior Hilary Hamp, junior Julia Roache, senior Bridget Wodowski, senior Hannah Ball, senior Krystyna Dross, and freshman Liz Daly as coxswain.
"Our open eight, full of novices and a handful of who had raced once in college, did an outstanding job of rising to the challenge of competing against national-class varsity eights," stated Furtek.
With winds steady at 20 miles per hour, the Golden Griffins pulled through the adverse weather conditions in their first official race, which Furtek was satisfied with the team's will to battle the conditions.
In addition to being the first varsity race for the program, it also marked the first for Furtek as the Canisius College rowing coach. The race allowed Furtek to see his team perform against other crews and to set expectations going forward.
"With two more weeks of training and learning ahead of us, we look forward to our second chance at The Head of the Fish," stated Furtek. "Now that we all had a taste of competition, I know we'll bring a new urgency to the next two weeks as we prepare."
The Golden Griffins second chance will come on Saturday, October 29 when they travel to Saratoga Springs, N.Y. to compete at The Head of the Fish.