The Canisius College rowing team will make its second appearance at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Rowing Championships on Saturday morning at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J. The Golden Griffins are set to battle the rest of the MAAC in quest of the conference title after tying for fifth at last year's championship.
The top-seed Varsity Eight boat will open the Golden Griffins' day of racing at 9:30 a.m. followed by the third-seed Second Varsity Eight at 10:15 a.m. and the eighth-seed Varsity Four at 11 a.m.
The Golden Griffins enter the weekend coming off a pair of victories at the Black Rock Cup against MAAC affiliate Robert Morris at the Frank Lloyd Wright's Fontana Boathouse on April 20. In the home meet, the Griffs' Second Varsity Eight set the tone for the team with a decisive win over Robert Morris to start the day. The Griffs recorded a time of 8:54.71 to secure a first-place finish followed by the Colonials' Second Varsity Eight (9:13.9) and Novice Eight (10:29.1). The Griffs' Varsity Eight followed with a win of their own to complete the sweep of the Colonials. The Griffs held over a 25-second lead in the head-to-head race, posting a time of 7:57.95 followed by the Colonials with a time of 8:23.69.
Named the 2013 MAAC Crew of the Year, the Griffs' Varsity Eight boat will look to continue its unbeaten streak against MAAC opponents. Through four spring races, the Griffs went undefeated against fellow MAAC crews. The Varsity Eight captured victories over nine-time conference champion Marist, Loyola, and Jacksonville, while collecting a pair of victories against both Fairfield and Robert Morris. In addition, the Varsity Eight claimed conference crew of the week honors following each of its four races.
Among the field of eight teams at the MAAC Rowing Championships, the Griffs have not seen three of the squads including Iona, Sacred Heart, and reigning conference champion Drake.
In 15 total conference championships, Marist has claimed nine titles followed by Loyola with four and Fairfield with one. Throughout the history of the conference championships, the event has only been called once due to inclement weather in 2010. The MAAC has called Mercer Lake home to the conference championships since 2005.
At last year's women's championship on April 28, conference affiliate Drake captured the team crown in the field of six teams with 33 points. Marist finised in close second with 31 points followed by Jacksonville (19) and Fairfield (17). Canisius and Robert Morris rounded the team competition with 13 points to share fifth place. The Second Varsity Eight finished fourth overall (7:55.3) for the team's highest finish of the day followed by the Varsity Eight in fifth (7:17.0) and the Varsity Four in sixth (10:23.6).Prior to the Griffs' first appearance at the conference championships as a varstiy program, the team previously competed at the conference championships a total of eight times as a club team. The team's best finish as either a club team or a varsity program was fourth place, which was completed four times in 1999, 2000, 2004, and 2005.
Project Starting Lineups for the MAAC Championships
Varsity Eight: Sophomore Liz Reinwald, senior Monica Klenk, freshman Nora Kennon, senior Bridget Laszewski, junior Liz McKinney, junior Nancy Kennish, senior Stephanie SanFilipo, junior Lynna Paradiso and freshman coxswain Hannah Blum.
Second Varsity Eight: Senior Bridget Wodowski, senior Alyssa Eddy, senior Julia Roache, freshman Julie Sciandra, senior Allison Braun, senior Amanda Kielich, freshman Corrine Kickel, junior Meghan Martin and freshman coxswain Jordan Bamrick.
Varsity Four: Senior Katie Riley, freshman Emma Miller, freshman Megan Walsh, freshman Erica Mason and sophomore coxswain Meagan Hayden.
Watch the MAAC Awards Banquet
The conference will be webstreaming its Annual Awards Banquet live through MAAC.TV on Friday, April 26, at 6 p.m. The event can be viewed free of charge. To watch the event, fans are encouraged to create their account prior to the start of the program.