Men’s Rowing and McDonald Highlight Summer

 

 

Paul Kasabian

In the classic Disney film D2: The Mighty Ducks, the famed kids’ hockey squad has an epic summer when it participates in the Summer Goodwill Games. The Ducks deal with changes to the roster in the beginning, such as the addition of goalie Julie “The Cat” Gaffney, but they pay off with the great success of beating the heavily favored Icelandic team in the championship game.

Colgate men’s Rowing did not expect to have a successful run at the Henley Royal Regatta in London, England. The Raiders had to enter a qualifying round just to compete at the Regatta. However, all of Colgate’s hard work and practice paid off as the Raiders surprised many onlookers in early July. Male college students compete in two different Cups at this event: The Temple Challenge Cup (eight man boats) and the Prince Albert Challenge Cup (four man boats). In the Temple Challenge Cup, Colgate drew Oxford Brookes University in the first round, who was the defending champion.

“We weren’t seeded and we needed to qualify, so we were big underdogs [going into the first round race],” senior captain Peter Engebretson said.

However, the Raiders shocked everyone, even themselves, and defeated Oxford Brookes University by one-and-a-half lengths.

“We had such a good start and they couldn’t keep up,” Engebretson said. “It was the second fastest time of the day.”

Colgate would go on to demolish Eton College by three-and-a quarter lengths and Trinity College A from Dublin, Ireland by one-and-a-quarter lengths in the first three rounds of the Temple Cup. This set up a match-up with arch-rival Cornell in the semifinals. Unfortunately, the Raiders lost to the Big Red by a mere quarter length. The Colgate-Cornell race was one of only three during the Temple Cup that was decided by less than a half length. Cornell was in two of them, having defeated the University of Bristol A team by a quarter length in its quarterfinal race.

“We beat them on the start, but they are the Lightweight National Champions,” said Engebretson. “They outmuscled us in the middle of the race and we had to sprint towards the end.

However, the Raiders’ valiant effort during the race should not be overlooked. Colgate was winning at both the quarter and three-quarter lengths of the mile-long race, only to come up short in the end. Cal-Berkeley went on to take down Cornell in the finals by one-and-a-quarter lengths. Tom Leonard ’07, who had graduated two months earlier, went out in style, as did Brenna O’Rourke ’07. Seniors Peter Engebretson, Andrew Hatzenbuhler, Bryan Pape, Doug Herling, Austin Sigety and junior Kurt Miller rounded out the boat.

Colgate’s two coxed four boats also competed in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup. The A Boat defeated Trinity College of Dublin by a half length in the first round before bowing to eventual runner-up Goldie B.C. in the quarterfinals. The B boat was knocked out in the first round by Imperial College London by three lengths. The University of London A boat ended up securing victory over Goldie B.C. by a half length in the finals.

Even though Colgate has lost Leonard and O’Rourke, the Raiders have an excellent chance to improve on last season’s immense success.

“We have very high expectations,” said Engebretson. “We have two goals: A medal at ECAC and to quality for the Eight at IRA’s.”

In other news, Anaheim Duck, Stanley Cup champion and Colgate grad Andy McDonald ’00 brought Hockey’s Holy Grail back to his alma mater on August 11th. McDonald was second on the Ducks with 78 points (27 goals and 51 assists) last season and led the team in playoff goals scored with 10. The Stanley Cup ceremony consisted of speeches from Hamilton Mayor Sue McVaugh, President Rebecca Chopp, Men’s Hockey Head Coach Don Vaughan and McDonald. Patrons took pictures of the Stanley Cup and received autographs from McDonald until noon, when the former All-American took the Cup back to his hometown of Strathroy, Ontario for the rest of the day.

“It was nice that he came back to Colgate for a day,” said sophomore Scott Konicki, who attended the event. “He is a very nice man and he signed a picture for me.”

Colgate also received some upgrades on the playing field this season. Andy Kerr Stadium got a tremendous boost when FieldTurf, the most technologically advanced playing surface on the market today, was installed. FieldTurf is essentially an artificial turf surface that is made to look and feel like natural grass. The surface is safer than a standard artificial turf surface, which has been known to give many players career ending injuries. Currently, eight NFL stadiums feature Field Turf, including Giants Stadium and the RCA Dome, home of the Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts.

Will this string of great success from former and current Colgate athletes run into the new school year? We’ll find out soon, as football, soccer and cross country are beginning their regular seasons by the end of the week.