Championship Racing 2012: Dad Vails and ACRAs

Following wins at the SIRA regatta, Emory Crew continued to set its sight on gold at the nation’s largest collegiate regatta, the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, PA. Having become accustomed to the pristine and glassy water at Stone Mountain, we expected the choppy Schuykill to be rougher than what we were used to, and the Schuykill certainly met these expectations. Heats started on Friday May 11th, and semifinals and finals took place on Saturday May 12th. The varsity men’s pair and single placed 4th in their heats, and following technical issues with equipment, the lightweight four placed 5th. The men’s heavyweight four placed 2nd in their heat only 2 seconds behind Minnesota, and the men’s novice eight walked through Army in the final 500m of their race to clinch a 2nd place finish. In the semifinals, MN8+ fell short placing 5th, and the MV4+ won their semifinal race, giving them good momentum going into the final. However, despite their dominant performance throughout heats and semis, the four placed an unexpected 6th in the finals.

On the women’s side, both the varsity and novice eights had strong first races, both coming in 3rd in heats. The WN8+ went on to place 6th in their semifinal. The WV8+ went straight to finals from their heat, placing 2nd in the DIII grand final. The V8 was able to debut their new Vespoil 8+, ‘The Joy’ (named after Coach Joy Smith), delivered to the course from the Vespoli factory. Breaking in a new shell is always a challenge, but the squad adjusted to the new speed and stiffness by the final.

We would like to thank Will Bringgold, the it’s Margulies and Kenty families and the University of Florida Crew for their hospitality. This weekend would not have been possible without their generosity.

In the two weeks following Dad Vails, the Emory men’s and women’s squads focused on preparing for the ACRA regatta. With school finished, the team was able to get some quality Spring Break style training. Due to summer commitments the men’s squad reduced their lightweight four to a varsity pair in addition to their single, varsity four, and novice eight. The women’s squad also broke down their boat into a varsity four and a pair.

On May 26th-27th, Emory Crew raced hard on Lake Lanier’s Olympic course, which sported a tailwind and near-record Georgian heat. The men’s single came 2nd in C finals, the men’s pair came 8th in B finals, and the men’s novice eight came in 5th in B finals. Despite being dominant in their heats and semifinal races, the men’s varsity heavyweight four finished 5th in grand finals. On the other hand, the women’s varsity heavyweight four placed 2nd in their grand final, while the pair dominated their division throughout the weekend, winning 1st their grand final to be crowned ACRA champions.

ACRAs also awarded Gabrielle Arondel (Jr.), Grace Veker (So.), Alex Dermody-McKeen (Sr.) with All-American Team Awards, and Gabrielle Arondel (Jr.), Devan Elmore (Jr.), Grace Veker (So.), Alex Dermody-McKeen (Sr.), and Ben Carr (Sr.) with Southern All-Regional Team Awards. Finally Micah Boyd was awarded the ACRA Southern All-Regional Coach Award.

We would like to congratulate our seniors – Will Aubin, Ben Carr, Eric Rusiecki, Alex Dermody-McKeen, David Silverstein, Ali Brooks, Meghan Ewen, Sofie Leenders, Nora Kenty, and Laura Eakes – on their successful Emory careers, academically and as Emory Crew oarsmen / oarswomen, and thank them for the incredible dedication and leadership they have given to this team.

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