The Canisius College rowing team made its first appearance in the Knecht Cup on Saturday afternoon along the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J. In the varsity eight race, the Griffs placed fifth (7:26.70) in their respective heat, while the second varsity eight finished sixth in their heat (7:57.92).
"We're all disappointed with our performance. We struggled uncharacteristically off the start, and in this field, at our stage of development, that's enough to be left behind quickly," said head coach Joel Furtek. "Both our women's eights fell off the pace and were not factors in their races."
The varsity eight race opened the day for the Golden Griffins. Lined up in the fifth heat, the Griffs finished fifth with a time of 7:26.70. In the heat, Wisconsin secured first with a time of 6:45.95, which was the second highest among all 31 fleets in the race.
Followed by Wisconsin's top-finish, the order of finish in the fifth heat was Miami (6:49.93), George Mason (6:54.98), North Carolina (7:00.56), and the Griffs.
"We came to the Knecht Cup to race crews who are already at speed - a chance for our novice rowers to experience full-on Championship racing in varsity events. The conditions were great and the heat draws gave us plenty of speed -- the varsity eight faced Wisconsin, Miami, George Mason, and North Carolina.
In the third heat of the second varsity eight race, the Griffs placed sixth in a time of 7:57.92. UConn went onto to win the heat with the third-quickest time (6:56.49) amongst all 28 squads in the five heats of the second varsity eight race. The order of finish in the Griffs' heat following UConn's top finish included Buffalo (6:59.61), Trinity (7:00.49), North Carolina (7:03.72), Colgate (7:13.64), and Canisius.
"Neither boat could say that they left with a better understanding of their own speed, because we failed to bring it to the course today," said Furtek. "We are better than we showed, but the essence of our sport is that we are what we repeatedly do, so we must bounce back quickly."
Both the varsity and second varsity boats needed to finish in the top 18 of their respective races, which they were unable to ending the team's run in the Knecht Cup.
"The day's result is a bitter, bitter pill for our highly competitive student-athletes, and one that is sure to drive us on in preparation for the inaugural Black Rock Cup next weekend and the MAAC Championship one week later," Furtek spoke of the weeks to come.
The Golden Griffins will return to action on Sunday, April 22 when they host the inaugural Black Rock Cup at the Frank Lloyd Wright Fontana Boathouse along the Black Rock Channel. Prior to the Black Rock Cup, the team's new fleet will be blessed. Stay tuned to GoGriffs.com for a detailed schedule of the day's events.