Rowing team impresses at Knecht Cup
Buffalo's rowing team had an extraordinary afternoon of competition on Saturday as the squad won nine of its 11 races and placed six of its seven boats in Sunday's Grand Finals at the Knecht Cup in Camden, N.J.
The Bulls proved they were worthy of receiving 15 votes in the latest national poll as the Varsity Eight boat won its opening heat by more than 10 seconds with a time of 6:46.2. Led by sophomore coxswain Alison Sheehan, the crew improved its time by 10 seconds in the semifinals, beating Boston College by six seconds with a time of 6:36.72. Alongside Sheehan were seniors Sam Masucci, Kate Garofalo, Cathleen Streicher, Tara Rudkowski, Francisca Nwoke, Alana Sharpe, junior Sasha Bailey and sophomore Brittany Ronald.
The Varsity Eight boat boasted the second-fastest time of all 18 boats in the semifinals, as Duke edged the Bulls by only six-tenths of a second. The Bulls advanced to Sunday's grand finals for a matchup with Drexel, Duke, Temple, Boston College, and Rutgers.
Buffalo's Second Varsity Eight boat of sophomore coxswain Kate Evely, juniors Ashley Hanhurst and Lindsay DiCosimo, sophomores Dakota Smith, Alexandra Condon and Jacklyn Postulka, as well as freshmen Rosa Kemp, Shannon David and Danielle Carlino, were also very impressive after posting the top times in both the opening and semifinal heats (6:52.69 and 6:55.17). They also advanced to Sunday's final to face Drexel, Temple, UMass, Duke and Rutgers.
The Novice Eight boat picked up a pair of wins as well after recording the second fastest time of the opening heats, 7:01.21. In the semifinals, the Bulls defeated Colonial Athletic Association-rival Delaware and improved nearly five seconds to a time of 6:56.54. The Novice Eight, consisting of freshman coxswain Kara Buchheit, sophomore Jamie Varble, and freshmen Melissa James, Kylie Lewis, Lauran Benz, Deborah Garth, Bethany Cross, Elizabeth Murphy and Katelynn Hentz advanced to Sunday's final against Delaware, West Virginia, Wisconsin, UMass and UConn.
The Bulls' Varsity Four boat also qualified for Sunday's finals. After winning its opening heat, the Varsity Four posted a time of 7:44.51 – less than a second behind first place finisher Villanova – for a second-place finish. The Bulls advanced to Sunday's final for a race against Colgate, Lafayette, Miami, West Virginia and Villanova.
The Second Varsity Four boat only raced once on Saturday and clocked in at 7:55.79 for a first place finish to advance to the finals to meet Fairfield, Colgate, UMass, Fordham, and Loyola. The Novice Four boat finished in first place in its opening heat with a time of 8:30.77 and followed up with a third-place semifinal finish to advance to Sunday's petite final.
Buffalo's eighth nationally-ranked lightweight boat did not compete on Saturday and automatically advanced to Sunday's Lightweight Eight final to race off against Lafayette, UMass, MIT and two boats from Wisconsin.
Check back in Wednesday's issue of The Spectrum for coverage of Sunday's finals action.
Additional reporting by Andrew Bellaflores, Staff Writer