Men's Rowing Places Sixth at Dad Vails
May 11, 2002
PHILADELPHIA, PA - The GW Men's Rowing program concluded their regular season May 10-11, at the Dad Vail Championship Regatta on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. Both the GW Varsity Eight and Freshman Eight qualified for the finals. For the Colonials, it was the first varsity crew finals appearance at a year-end championship since 1997.
The Dad Vail Regatta is the largest collegiate regatta in the United States. Hundreds of colleges with thousands of student-athletes visit the city of Philadelphia during the second week of May every year. The regatta started out strong for GW with both the freshman and varsity eights winning their heats and also posting the fastest times of all crews. Twenty-five universities entered crews in the varsity event.
GW's Junior Varsity crew finished fourth in its heat and did not qualify for the final. In the semi-finals held Saturday morning, the Freshman Eight again won and the varsity crew finished second to Marietta College to qualify for the final. The three fastest times of all 18 varsity crews in the semifinals were Marietta 5:46.2, Temple 5:49.1 and GW 5:49.8.
The varsity had posted a solid time and raced six seconds faster in Camden with no current two weeks before. For the freshmen, the only apparent competition now was Marietta, a crew it had beaten decisively twice during the regular season.
Things went downhill dramatically for GW. Upon launching for the final, the Freshman Eight crew was told it was disqualified because the coxswain had not weighed in on Saturday morning. The crew were ordered to return to shore and did not race. All protests were denied.
FRESHMAN EIGHT FINAL:
Unsettled by events, the Varsity Eight then made the understandable mistake of trying to win the final in the first 500m. "The crew went out way too fast and unfortunately, after leading to that point the crew pretty much had a melt-down and finished sixth," GW men's coach Gene Kininmonth said.
VARSITY EIGHT FINAL:
"In spite of the final result, I am proud of the varsity crews efforts to make the final," Kininmonth said. "Getting our program back into the finals was an important step." Four members of the varsity crew will now go on to race the coxless fours event at the IRA National Championships to be held in Camden, NJ, on May 30-June 1. George Washington won silver in this event at the national championships two years ago. The freshman eight will also race at the IRA championships.