UST Crew pulled well at Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia

UST Crew pulled well at Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia

From UST Crew team's Mariah Wescott, marketing and communications director, and Patrick Johnson, head coach

On the weekend of May 12-13, the UST Crew team went to Philadelphia for the Dad Vail Regatta – the largest collegiate rowing event in the world. A total of 117 colleges and universities participated in the two-day event. Many crews, including St. Thomas, point to this race as their season ending championship regatta.

The team fielded six boats in the regatta with a record 39 students making the trip.

Women's Crew
The women's varsity eight placed fourth in the opening round of heats and earned a spot in the petite finals, where places seven to 12 are decided. In the petite final, the women were just outpaced by Division II Mercyhurst to take fifth place in the race and 11th overall. Rowing a time of 7:12 in the petite’s, the St. Thomas women improved by 21 seconds over their heat time.

In its first heat, the women's varsity pair came in second, qualifying for semifinals on Friday. In that race the boat placed third, missing the cut for the grand final by just one spot.

The women's novice team took an eight and a four. Both boats significantly improved their times over previous regattas. The eight placed fourth in its heat, beating Marquette. The four came in fifth, beating Lawrence and finishing within tenths of a second behind LaSalle. Neither advanced to the semifinals.

Men's Crew
According to the May 15 cMax computer rankings for rowing, the University of St. Thomas men's team is ranked 12th in the nation for Division III teams. The computer rankings use a specialized statistical model to compare race results from across the country. It includes both varsity and club-status teams that race in varsity eight competition at regional regattas. Out of this group, the St. Thomas oarsmen are now the top club-status team in the nation after moving past the University of Rochester (New York) since the last rankings.

The men's varsity eight did well in all of its races at the Dad Vail Regatta, which boasted a field of 32 schools. In their first heat, the men came in a close third and missed advancing directly to the semifinals by just two seconds. This sent them into reps, where they placed first with a time of 6:01:02 and qualified for the semifinals. Although the squad was not quick enough to grab a spot in the petite or grand finals, they rowed to a time of 6:01, which earned it the 14th spot overall in the event.

Consistent with the computer rankings, the team was one of only three Division III schools to advance to the 18-boat semifinal. The other two, Marietta (Ohio) and Rochester Institute of Technology (New York), are both varsity-status programs. This was the first time in the 43-year history of rowing at St. Thomas that the men raced the premiere event at this regatta.

In the men's novice four event, the team took first in its heat, guaranteeing it a spot in the semifinals. In the semifinal, the crew placed fourth and missed the cut for the six-boat grand final. Still, their row was good enough for 10th place out of a field of 54 schools. Among Division III competition, the crew was the second fastest boat.

The 2007-08 crew season will start in September.