Crews Grab Hardware from Knecht Cup

Neither rain, nor wind, nor bitter cold, nor mud can stop Colgate rowers from racing hard. Nothing truer can be said for the experience of competing at the Knecht Cup in Camden, NJ last weekend. Saturday featured temperatures in the 40s, pouring rain and a strong crosswind. The second day of competition was drier, with the mercury reaching into the 50s, but the stubborn winds persisted throughout the day. Extreme conditions like these, however, are treated like normal operating procedures by the Raiders, who overcame the conditions to bring home top honors in multiple events.

The Colgate men entered five crews into the regatta: two Varsity Pairs, two Varsity Fours and a Varsity Eight squad. The two pairs comprised sophomores Peter Engebretson and Matt Inbusch as Colgate “A”, and classmates Andrew Hatzenbuhler and Bryan Pape as Colgate “B”. Both pairs took first in their respective heats; the two crews met in the final, finishing in silver and bronze positions, barely bested by Dowling College.

In the Fours, Colgate “A,” rowed by juniors Tom Leonard, sophomores Doug Herling and Brad Ernst, first-year Eddie Gastel, and junior coxswain Brenna O’Rourke, glided to an easy first place in the heats, but met a tougher match in the final. Both “A” and “B” crews made the big dance, where they took second and fourth place, respectively.

Colgate’s Varsity Eight met a large, strong field of teams from around the Northeast. The Raiders placed third in their very fast heat, behind New York State rivals Hobart and Marist. Relegated to the petite final because of their placement in heats, the Colgate men raced to a first-place finish over Philadelphia rowing power, St. Joseph’s.

The women’s Second Varsity Eight also came home with a silver medal from the weekend. Seniors Alexandra Kellogg and Charlotte Heyman, juniors Kinsey Carlson, coxswain Margaux Jackson, Laura Lunn, Emily Burton and Lauren Realberg, and sophomores Cassie Rotman and Yasmin Rozwadowski rowed in a tough heat, placing fourth. Realizing that their chances were still good, the team blitzed the field and won the semifinal outright. The squad’s excitement carried them all the way to the final, where they crossed the line four seconds behind Buffalo, a perennially tough match for the women.

The Varsity Eight had a good group to contend with. Not getting a break in any of its three races, the team rowed strongly but placed third in its semifinal race, relegating the crew to the petite final, where the Raiders placed fourth.

Overall, Colgate rowers had a positive showing last weekend. Medaling in races provides confidence, but the tremendous competition in the Eights only shows the teams where they need to work. The season gets tougher and more important from here on out, and it seems that the Raiders are in a good position to handle it well. The men will travel next to Geneva to face off with Hobart for the Seneca Cup, while the women have a week to recuperate before traveling to Lewisburg, PA to race with Bucknell and Buffalo.