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The Canisius College rowing team opened the spring schedule at the Jesuit Invitational in Camden N.J. on the Cooper River on Saturday afternoon. The Golden Griffins' Varsity Eight captured third overall ahead of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) opponents Loyola and Fairfield.

"It's good to have our first taste of MAAC competition and to see where we stand at this point," said head coach Joel Furtek. "Of course, everyone is gearing up for more speed and we intend to do the same. It will be exciting to see what our women can do with more water time and continued development."

In the Golden Griffins' first appearance at the Jesuit Invitational, the Varsity Eight finished third behind Boston College and host Saint Joseph's in the race for the Robert M. Gillin Jr. Trophy. The Varsity Eight included sophomore Liz Reinwald, senior Alyssa Eddy, freshman Corrine Kickel, freshman Nora Kennon, junior Liz McKinney, junior Nancy Kennish, senior Stephanie Sanfilipo, junior Lynna Paradiso and freshman coxswain Hannah Blum.

"I'm extremely proud of our varsity eight, who executed our plan very well," said Furtek. "They pushed out with Boston College and Saint Joseph's then raced within themselves long and strong, through the body of the race. We were right on point."

In the Second Varsity Eight, the Griffs finished fourth behind Boston College, host Saint Joseph's, and Fairfield. The Griffs had the lead over fellow MAAC opponent Fairfield before falling behind in the final 500 meters.

"It was a disappointing race for our Second Varsity Eight. They pulled well off the line and matched speed with the field, working out to a length over Fairfield," said Furtek. "To the Stags' credit, they never folded, and outraced us to the line. I look forward to working with the second eight to put together a complete race in our next outing."

The Second Varsity Eight was comprised of freshman Erica Mason, junior Meghan Martin, freshman Megan Walsh, freshman Julie Sciandra, senior Julia Roache, senior Amanda Kielich, senior Bridget Wodowski, senior Monica Klenk, and freshman coxswain Jordan Bamrick.

"Overall I'm pleased that we raced so early this year, stoking our competitive fires as we return to the Black Rock Canal," said Furtek. "And of course we're looking forward to a lot of miles together during our spring racing trip in just 11 days."

The Blue and Gold will head south for a spring racing trip to Florida on the Hillsborough River and Tampa Bypass Canal. While in the Sunshine State, the team will scrimmage the University of Florida and the University of South Florida on March 30. The trip will be capped off by the team competing in the Florida Intercollegiate Rowing Association (FIRA) Championship on April 6 in Sarasota, Fla.

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