2013 Dad Vail Regatta Preview

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It’s finally here! The historic Dad Vail regatta will be this weekend, in Philadelphia. For the past 75 years, rowers across the country have descended on the famous Schulykill race course to see how they stack up against national competition. By the numbers, it is the largest collegiate athletic event in the world. As such, a crews success is often measured by their placement at “Vails”. After success down South, the Tribe has high expectations.

Follow the regatta here.

The Schulyklill race course is unique for many reasons. First, it is located in Fairmont Park, the largest urban park in the country. Additionally, it has a rich rowing tradition, with idylic boathouse row and statues of the legendary olympic rower, John Kelly. The course itself has many unique landmarks: Strawberry Mansion bridge, Boathouses, the 750m stairs, Peter’s Island, and a large grand stand at the finish. Crowds line the shoreline and the atmosphere during the races is electric. Their is the challenge of the “turn” at the Strawberry mansion bridge, that is compensated by a staggered start. The island off of lane 6 is sometimes blamed for different rowing conditions, making lane seeding even more important.

Novice Women:
In 2006, WMRC novice women 8+ made grand finals, an impressive feat for a club program. This year, the tribe women will look to match that accomplishment. After taking second place as a four at SIRAs, the talent is definitely there. The top three finishers from heats will advance to competitive semifinals. The girls will race in Lane 2 at 4:41 PM on Friday and face Philly powerhouses Temple and La Salle.

Women’s Novice 8 
Coxswain: Mairin Haley
8: Claire Goydan
7: Kelsey Mix
6: Kate Mott
5: Jessie Viss
4: Lauren Piulson
3: Camila Fishtahler
2: Arielle Galston
Bow: Serena Sarafini

Novice Men:
The men’s team will also row a Novice 8+ after having considerable success at SIRAs in fours (including a gold medal in Novice Light 4+). A difficult event, this squad’s extra experience racing varsity crews at Rockett’s Landing should come in handy against fast national competition. The Tribe will race at 3:23 pm in Lane 4. They will face Varsity program Drexel (which recruits internationally), Washington U (who made finals in this event at SIRAs), DePaul, and Rhode Island. The top 3 crews from this heat will advance to semifinals. The novice 8+ will be rowing in the Nathan Walker.

Men’s Novice 8+
Cox: Nic Querlo ’16
Stroke: Will Emmons ’16
7: Adam Mullet ’15
6: Marshall Irby ’16
5: Jack Bramley ’15
4: Will Plews-Ogan ’15
3: Kevin Conklin ’16
2: Martin Liu ’16
Bow: Jamal Usmani ’16

Varsity Women:
The varsity women will enter the women’s varisty 4+ and women’s single. In 2009, the Tribe took home bronze medals in a varsity women’s four. This year, they will try to again make it on the medal dock. To do that, they will need to advance past varsity programs in Drexel, Old Dominion, and past club programs Bowdoin, Marist, and USMA. Also rowing will be Ashley Koontz, former Women’s single medalist at ACRAs. Sculling is traditionally not seen at many collegiate regattas, so this event has just recently made a comeback at Dad Vails. As such, there are only 12 entries and not much is known about the speed of the competitors. Ashley will race in a semifinal at 11:45 AM on Friday and need to finish in the top 3 to advance. Rowers Kate Kalaris and Tiara Jackson have been also sculling, but this regatta does not have a 2x event, so they will have to wait for ACRAs later in the month.

Women’s Varsity 8
Cox: Cathy Merrit
Stroke: Christine Laroche
3: Erin Brown
2: Kate Nolan
Bow: Jessica Beckett

Women’s Collegiate Single
Ashley Koontz

Varsity Men:

The men will be rowing two fours: lightweight and heavyweight. In 2007, the Tribe won bronze in the lightweight 4 event and finaled again in 2010. With this recent success, the Tribe looks to improve. Additionally, this will be the first time these lightweights have rowed against their peers, electing to row as heavyweights all spring. Now is their chance to prove themselves. Unfortunately, they have a difficult heat at 2:19 PM, facing Delaware (6th at Vails), Temple and Marquette, all rowing powerhouses. With only 6 crews electing to enter lightweight 8+, there could be more depth in the light 4+.
Also rowing is the men’s heavyweight 4+. The most entered event at Vails, these boys will have to race 3 times if they get to finals. William and Mary will actually be in the first race of the regatta at 7:00 AM on Friday in lane 4. The will face TCNJ, Dowling, FIT (1st at SIRAs), and Rollins (3rd at SIRAs). The top 2 crews will advance, so the Tribe needs to be awake and ready or else they could have a very long drive home after a short regatta.

Men’s Lightweight 4+
Cox: Olivia Walton
Stroke: Ryan Fliss (Sr)
3: Jamie Lewis (Sr)
2: Bryan Monroe (Jr)
Bow: Connor Finch (Sr)

Men’s Heavyweight 4+
Cox: Emma Cleary
Stroke: Danny Otto (Jr)
3: Connor Kee (Jr)
2: Alex Sullivan (Sr)
Bow: Chris Stephens (Jr)