The Canisius College rowing team hosted its first ever home event at the Frank Lloyd Wright Fontana Boathouse on Sunday morning, as the Golden Griffins and D'Youville College faced off for the inaugural Black Rock Cup. In the varsity eight race, the Griffs cruised to a first-place finish to capture the Black Rock Cup over the Spartans. The Griffs completed the sweep of the Spartans on the day by taking the varsity four race.
"Racing conditions were not ideal, with a stiff tailwind and choppy water, but our racers made the most of the day," said head coach Joel Furtek. "The varsity eight reversed their performance from last week and started well, giving them a good path to victory through the rough water."
The Griffs started strong at the start of the varsity eight race. Canisius' strong start carried through the race as the team stayed ahead of D'Youville by at least a boat length. In the race for the Black Rock Cup, the Griffs captured first with a time of 7:09.3, while the second-place Spartans recorded a time of 7:36.7.
Competing in the Griffs' varsity eight boat were seniors Jessica Leemans and Stephanie Parrish, juniors Monica Klenk, Amanda Kielich, Jordan Hagenbuch, Bridget Laszewski, and Stephanie SanFilipo, and freshmen Kristen Warner and Meagan Hayden.
In the varsity four race, D'Youville challenged the Griffs for the top spot. Despite the Spartans push, the Griffs fought hard to secure first place (8:24.3) followed by the Spartans (8:33.8).
Representing Canisius in the varsity four race were senior Bridget Wodowski, juniors Lindsay Decker, Samantha Robinson, and Katie Riley, and freshman Alexandria Grisanti.
"Our varsity four fought a great race against a determined D'Youville four that never stopped pressing," said Furtek. "I'm proud of how well our young women raced against a disciplined, determined team from D'Youville head coach John Dorn."
Prior to the day's races, the Canisius rowing team was joined by friends, family, fellow Griff student-athletes, and alumni in the blessing of their fleet, including the team's new boat "Magis". In addition, visitors to the Frank Lloyd Wright Fontana Boathouse took in the beautiful facility, home of Canisius College rowing program.
"It was a great day at the Fontana Boathouse," exclaimed Furtek. "It was a special treasure to share the Blessing of the Fleet and the dedication of the racing shell "Magis" with so many members of the West Side Rowing Club, the Canisius College community and alumni, our families and friends, and our tremendous student-athlete family. What a great day to be a Griff!"
The home event was welcomed by the Canisius rowing program, who have spent the past weeks on the road. The roar of the Griff supporters energized the team to a strong performance in their first home event prior to the team's first-ever appearance in the MAAC rowing championship.
"We have a short week of preparation for the MAAC Championship, so tomorrow we get down to getting faster," said Furtek. "But for today, we'll all sit back and enjoy a Great Day of Racing!"
The Golden Griffins reach the final stretch of their 2012 schedule with one race remaining. On Saturday, April 28, the Griffs will travel to West Windsor, N.J. to compete in the MAAC Championship on Lake Mercer.