The Canisius College rowing team competed in its inaugural spring race at the Sacred Heart Invitational in Fairfield, Conn on Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1. On Saturday, the Golden Griffins opened the Invitational by placing fourth in the second varsity eight followed by second-place finishes in the varsity eight race and Grand Final. In the final day, the Griffs raced to a third-place finishes in both the varsity eight and second varsity eight races.
"As a competitor, I can't leave the weekend happy - we had the chance to win twice on Saturday and let it slip away, and we clearly have a long road ahead to challenge for the MAAC crown, said head coach Joel Furtek. "But as a coach, I'm pleased with the way our young men and women represented Canisius in their first regatta: We brought to each race an increased intensity and better execution of those portions of the race that we have prepared."
In both races of the varsity eight on Saturday, Canisius and MAAC opponent Drake battled for the top spot. In the first race, Drake (7:35) managed to take first by beating the Griffs (7:36.9) out by 1.9 seconds.
The Grand Final of the varsity eight was a repeat performance as the Griffs took second (7:52.9) behind the Bulldogs (7:48.0). Versus MAAC competition, the Griffs managed to place ahead of both Fairfield (7:59.8) and Iona (8:31.9).
The Golden Griffins opened the day in the second-varsity eight race with a fourth-place performance (9:23.0).
With fellow MAAC member Marist joining the competition on Sunday, the field for the varsity eight race was comprised of five conference opponents. In their first race weekend, the Golden Griffins had a taste of MAAC competition.
In the varsity eight race, the Griffs managed to place third overall (7:46.5) ahead of Iona (8:46.4) and Fairfield (7:58.4). A pair of MAAC opponents swept the top-two spots as Marist took first (7:26.2) followed by Drake in second (7:44.8).
The Griffs went on to place third (8:20.36) in the second varsity eight field. Taking the top two spots in the race were Marist (7:55.6) followed by Albany (8:01.7).
"All but two of our 27 racers this weekend were novices, in their first-ever sprint race," said Furtek. "We made a commitment as a program to racing in the varsity events, and establishing the Canisius presence in the MAAC. For our varsity eight to begin MAAC competition in third, racing tightly for second, is a good omen of our potential."