March 30, 2009

The JU rowing squads got a chance to size up the competition at the prestigious Murphy Cup Regatta on Saturday on the Schuylkill River as the Dolphins got a preview of competition for the Dad Vail Regatta, which will also happen in City of Brotherly Love at the end of the season.

The Women's Varsity 8 with coxswain Jamie Goldstein, Stephanie Bechtold, Danielle Fournier, Jennifer Barker, Karly Greer, Jillian Carmody, Caitlin Halloran, Kelly Burke and Candace Barber placed fourth in their opening heat with a mark of 7:02.54, behind Bucknell (6:47.59), Temple (6:53.09) and Colgate (7:01.04) but ahead of West Virginia (7:07.07) and Robert Morris (7:27.03).

"The women faced some tough competition today, but walked away with a solid race," said JU head women's coach Anna Talucci. "We learned a lot and realize that we need to make some improvements in order to continue to increase our speed as we head into FIRAs and SIRAs."

The Men's Varsity 8 with coxswain Tom Richards, Dylan Kosten, Richmond Jones, Erich Negaard, Brad Woodrum, Isaac LaCount, Isaiah LaCount, Tyler Humphrey and Stefan Negaard advanced to the grand final by placing second in its initial heat with a time of 5:55.73, behind Fordham (5:52.52) but finished ahead of Army (6:03.89), Drexel (6:10.65) and Franklin and Marshall (6:30.26).

"In the heat, we had a pretty solid race but didn't quite put everything together," said JU director of rowing/head men's coach Jim Mitchell. "However, they did what it took to advance to the grand final and get another shot at it."

In the grand final, JU captured gold with a time of 5:55.11, ahead of Temple (5:57.52), Bucknell (5:59.34), Fordham (6:00.16), Loyola (6:03.75) and Penn (6:05.61).

"In the final, the guys took what they learned from the heat and applied it perfectly," Mitchell said. "We had a good start, a good first 1,000 meters and had a deck length lead going into the final 500 meters. From there, our guys turned it on and opened up the margin for a 2.4 second win over a good Temple crew.

"The key for us now is to realize that it is still early in the season, and we have to continue with our development."

JU will next host Embry Riddle on Saturday, April 4, at the Negaard Rowing Center on the St. Johns River.