The men’s and women’s rowing teams opened their seasons on March 30 at the Murphy Cup Regatta, hosted by Temple University, on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J.
The women’s team came into the event with seven boats scheduled to race and was looking for strong performances out of all of them. The team completed this goal as they advanced five boats to their respective finals. In the freshman eight, the team cruised easily through the heats, and
finished in the final with a time of 7:10.05 to earn the bronze medal. This finish was followed by the second varsity eight which, like the freshman eight, easily advanced to the final, but was not able to earn a medal as they finished in fifth. In the varsity eight event, the Bison placed two boats in the six-boat final.
In the Grand Final, which featured top competition from powerhouses Buffalo, Williams and Navy, neither boat was able to take a spot, finishing in fifth and sixth places.
The best performance of the day for the Bison was in the varsity four event, in which the team recorded a gold medal winning time of 8:05.97. The next event for the team will be this weekend with races against Drexel and Penn on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.
The men’s crew team was also looking for a strong early season performance from its team against some tough competition. The day began with the novice eight event where the Bison were not able to qualify for the finals with a fifth place performance in their heat. The freshmen redeemed themselves when the eight split into two fours and advanced both to the Grand Final in the novice four event. In this final, the “B” boat finished sixth with a time of 7:34.48 and the “A” boat earned the silver medal, only narrowly losing to winner La Salle, in 7:10.61.
In the second varsity eight event, the team cruised to the final after finishing second in its heat to Drexel. In the JV final, the Bison put up a very good fight, narrowly losing a battle for the bronze to Drexel, and settled for fourth, finishing in 6:10.51. The varsity eight’s performance in its heat mirrored that of the 2V and advanced to the final after finishing second in its heat to Drexel.
In the Grand Final, the varsity eight saw a fast field featuring perennial powerhouses Virginia, Temple, Drexel, Williams and UNC. In a tight race, the Bison lost the battle for third with Temple and Williams and finished in fifth with 6:00.22.
The men’s team will split up this weekend with the varsity eight traveling to California to compete in the San Diego Crew Classic, while the remainder of the team will dual race Drexel on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.